Gardening 101 Series and Heirloom Seeds

heirloom tomatoes

Spring is fast approaching (are you as giddy as I am?) and our themes this month at Keeper of the Home are right on topic. We’ll be sharing about non-toxic cleaning including lots of cleaner recipes, just in time for spring cleaning although the house does tend to request being clean throughout the year (demanding, isn’t it?).

Our other theme is one near and dear to my own heart… gardening! We’ll be covering a wide range of topics in our Gardening 101 series. Emily kicked it off earlier this week with some fantastic tips for beginners. You can also find plenty of other posts on gardening in the archives:

For those who aren’t yet sure about trying their hand at gardening, try reading Sprouts- The Easiest Greens You’ll Ever Grow and learn more about Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and Their Benefits.

Curious About Heirloom Seeds?

Today you can find me over at Simple Organic bursting with practical information on heirloom seeds. What they are, what you’d want to use them, what makes them unique, and why I’m in love with them.

Purple Gypsy Tomatoes, Yellow Lemon Cucumbers, Dragon Tongue Bush Beans, Atomic Red Carrots, and Patisson Blanc et Vert Scallop Squash… these are a few of the many reasons that heirloom seeds have a starring role in my garden.

It’s not just the vibrant colors and the exotic names that make me swoon (although they do). Heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties have grown enormously in popularity with home and market gardeners alike in recent years, especially with the rise in awareness of organic growing methods, concerns with GMO seeds, economic struggles, the desire save seeds from year to year, as well as simply for taste and sheer pleasure.

What are Heirloom Seeds?

Also know sometimes as Heritage Seeds, they are generally 50 years old and many are 100 years or older. Certainly they have all been saved and passed down from generation to generation, usually within a family or a community.

By definition, they are open-pollinated seeds:

The pollen from one plant is carried to the next by the wind, by insects, and sometimes even by birds. Some heirloom plants are even self-pollinating! When the home gardener saves these seeds, the next generation of plants will look, smell, and taste like their parents.

Read the entire post here.

How are you garden plans coming so far? Tell us what you’ve got planned!

Top image by lizadaly

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. Hi! I was just directed to your site by my daughter, who knew it would be perfect for me!
    I have haphazardly grown veggies and herbs in my pitiful backyard for years — pitiful because it is tiny, shady, and made of clay except where I have laboriously amended the soil :)
    This year I am giving up on the heirloom tomatoes which are so unhappy there, and growing a pot of Sweet Million on the sunny deck. I will grow more peas & beans, which are practically indiginous, they are so prolific here. I am rooting every kind of kitchen veggie on my windowsill and will stick them in every tiny spot available. And I will devotely harvest and preserve everything I grow. That’s pretty ambitious, for me! I’ll be visiting you again tomorrow!

  2. Wow, everyone is itching to get into their gardens! One warning though… if you’re starting seedlings on a window sill, don’t start them too early because they will just get tall and weak! I work at a greenhouse, so today I was transplanting while enjoying a very sunny warm greenhouse! I love it! Our most popular heirloom tomato is the Black Russian. It is a darker purple color and is juicy and tasty! Happy planning to all!

  3. Well, you’ve inspired me! I stopped by the gardening store today to find out when I can start planting! We live in an apartment with a little bitty patio so I’ll set up a few pots. I’m thinking tomatoes, squash, zuccini, maybe some sort of lettuce. This store will sell heirloom seeds that have been started by local gardeners which sounds like a cool idea. I’ll probably go that way instead of buying seeds this year since I’ve never done it before! And I probably wouldn’t have except for your blog! THANKS!

  4. Thanks for all the great info Stephanie! I’m planting my very first vegetable garden. I have my seeds and my brand new sloggers and I can’t wait to start.

  5. Here in Vegas it’s time to plant already! I’ve got tomatoes and peppers sprouting in the kitchen, and I’ll be setting them outside shortly. The local nursery is already stocked with transplants which I will also be using. In addition, we’ll be planting cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, bush beans, and a bunch of herbs. We have to start early here so everything can get well established before 100+ temperatures hit.

  6. I can’t wait to start seedlings! Last year we grew four types of tomatoes- none of which were red. It’s such fun growing heirlooms!

  7. I had my 12 year old son traipsing through the thigh high snow in our backyard last night, by the light of the street lamp, measuring out our backyard, for some new fencing we are putting in this spring, and scoping out the spot where I am moving my garden for better sun. Yeah, I’m antsy! LOL!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Keeper of the Home – lots of great home-making ideas here, but I found the Gardening 101 articles to be particularly helpful. [...]

  2. [...] the MarketWe have some pretty neat farms that exhibit at my favorite farmer's market.  Many grow heirloom and unusual varieties of vegetables.  They're often ones I've never cooked with or even heard of.  Of course, I grew up eating SAD [...]