Heirloom Vegetables

 
 
There are three major reasons for using an Heirloom Vegetable Seed over other seeds. The first attribute of an Heirloom is the age. Plants before 1951 are Heirloom. Around this time the first hybrid seeds were being developed. Many of these plants had evolved long before modern chemical fertilizers and pesticides and resistance to pests and disease were in these plants genetic codes.imagesCAUF23C9crop heirloom seeds vegetable gardening directions
Some of the oldest Heirlooms are many centuries old. Open pollination is the next important factor. What this means basically is the seed produced will be an exact duplicate of the parent and always will be true to type. The last is taste. These vegetables have a more robust flavor and will keep longer. You probably won't find Heirlooms in your local grocery. Growing them yourself is the best way. Here are some of the popular varieties.
 
1. Beans. Heirloom beans, some of which were cultivated before the 16th century are more colorful and prolific growers. The most famous of the heirlooms is the Kentucky Wonder. This bean dates from the late 1800's and is famous for its size. Other varieties of pole and bush beans are; Black Valentine, Vermont Cranberry, Soldier, Genuine Cornfield and Sieva Lima.
 
2. Cabbage. Many of the most popular Heirloom Cabbages originated in the mid 1800's and most originated in Europe. The most popular include; Early Jersey Wakefield, Danish Ballhead, Early Jersey Wakefield, Mammoth Red Rock, Wingstadt, Premium Flat Dutch.
 
3. Carrots. Today's carrots come from carrots that were originally white and yellow. Orange carrots came in vogue in the 1800's. There are two types of carrots-long and short. These two parent varieties originated in the 1600's. Today's most popular varieties include; Oxeheart, Danvers Half Long, Early Scarlet Horn (this may or may not be available) and Chantenay Red Core.
 
4. Corn. The earliest types of corn used by the Native Americans was mostly the harder grain types that could be used for meal because of storage concerns. The sweet type played a secondary role. These days the sweeter varieties have taken the forefront. Favorites include; Black Mexican, Country Gentleman, Golden Bantam, Howling Mob, Bloody Butcher and Stowall's Evergreen.
 
5. Cucumber. The most popular of the present varieties is the over 125 year old Improved Long Green. Early Cluster may be the oldest cucumber still in cultivation. Introduced in 1778. Other varieties include; Boothby's Blond, Boston Pickling, Longfellow, West Indian Gherkin and White Wonder.
 
6. Lettuce. Classic Romaine style lettuce has been growing in Europe since the early 1800's. Thomas Jefferson grew a miniature butterhead type in early 1800's. Varieties include; Fordhook, Paris White Cos and Hanson, which is now becoming rare.
 
7. Melons. Modern transportation has led to the extinction of many varieties. The whole 20th century has been dedicated to making varieties that ship easily meaning going longer without spoiling. The ones that remain are worth growing for their sweetness and flavor. Varieties of musk are; Cassaba, Hale's Best, Jenny Lind and Nutmeg. Varieties of watermelon are; Citron, Ice Cream, Moon and Stars, Georgia Rattlesnake, Mountain Hoosier and Tom Watson.
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8. Peas. These are one of the most ancient vegetables dating back to 7000 BC. Most of today's peas are called English Peas. Popular varieties of peas are; Alaska, American Wonder, Dwarf Gray Sugar, Lincoln, Little Marvel, Mammoth Melting Sugar and Wanda.
 
9. Potatoes. These originated in South America and quickly became a food staple worldwide. Heirlooms come in a great number of sizes and shapes. Tubers are used instead of seeds. Varieties are; Caribe, Early Ohio, Garnet Chile, Burbank and Irish Cobbler.
 
10. Tomatoes. The oldest tomato variety is Brandywine. This is over a hundred years old. Tomatoes have only become popular in the past 100 years or so. Now they are one of the most popular of all vegetables. Varieties are; Abraham Lincoln, Amish Paste, Earliana, Livingston's Favorite, Paragon, Rutgers, Ponderosa Pink, Old Fashioned Red Cherry and Oxeheart.Anna20Russian2001_small heirloom vegetables gardening directions

 

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