Specializing in rare and endangered heirloom vegetable, flower, herb & ancient grain seed.
Heirlooms are also called heritage varieties. An heirloom or heritage plant is an open pollinated variety that has been grown for many years and passed down within a family or group. Heirloom varieties evolved over time by natural or human selection, often having wonderful taste, aroma and vitamin content. There are Family Heirlooms and Commercial Heirlooms. Family heirlooms are the varieties that have been passed down within the family for many years. Commercial Heirlooms are heirlooms that were either selected for or developed by seed companies many, many years ago. There are also Native American Heirlooms that were passed down through the generations. Beans, Corn and Squash were very important to many of the Native American tribes and known as the Three Sisters.
Determinate (AKA ‘Bush’) varieties generally have a heavy fruit set over a relatively short period of time, then stop producing fruit. When fruit sets on the terminal bud, the plants stop growing, and all the fruit tends to ripen around the same time, after which the plants die back. The plants tend to be more compact, so can be good choices for container gardens or when you have space limitations. Determinate varieties are also a great choice for tomatoes that you want to harvest lots of all at once for canning! Pay special attention to the Days to Maturity when choosing determinate varieties so you can spread out your harvest by planting some early, mid and late season types.
Indeterminate (AKA ‘Vining’) plants produce fruit continuously over the course of the season, generally continuing to produce leaves, flowers and fruit simultaneously right through to frost. These plants tend to grow larger, developing longer vines that require more support. Indeterminate varieties are great choices for snacking on or slicing into salads bit by bit over many weeks. Many (though not all) heirloom varieties are indeterminate.
The natural genetic variation within plants and animals that makes them adaptable to different conditions. It allows species to withstand threats such as climate change, disease and other pests. If a population of a species has a very diverse gene pool then there will be more variability in the traits of individuals of that population and consequently more traits for natural selection to act upon to select the fittest individuals to survive.
A variety that does not breed true from seed. Hybrids do not remain true in generations after the initial cross and can't be saved from generation to generation unchanged.
A variety that breeds true from seed, so the seed saved from the parent plant will have offspring with the same characteristics. Open pollinated varieties can be saved from generation to generation.
Seed grown without the use of chemicals.
Seed varieties that do well in short season climates. These varieties have early maturation dates and do well in cooler temperatures.
Works in harmony with nature by encouraging beneficial insects and birds, composting and adding organic matter back into the soil, mulching to conserve moisture and encourage beneficial microorganisms.
Seed that is not coated with fungicides or insecticides.