Heirloom Tomato Seeds
Heirloom tomatoes and heirloom tomato seeds are super popular but sometimes even avid gardeners are fully aware of what an heirloom tomato is. To understand heirloom tomatoes, lets boil heirloom down to its primary definition. An heirloom is anything of value that has passed down from one generation to another. It could be jewelry, china or seeds. An heirloom is usually something worth passing down. So, an heirloom tomato is a prized variety that is worthy of intergenerational transfer. Most heirlooms have been selected to be saved because they have the best flavor and production in a small garden environment.
Open-pollinated is another term sometimes used interchangeably with heirloom. They do not mean the same thing, as an open pollinated seed is simply a variety where the seed can be harvested from the plant, saved, replanted, and the same variety will re grow year after year. This is how we get the heirloom varieties that we have today is because they are open-pollinated. All heirloom seeds are open pollinated, but not all open pollinated seeds are heirloom. New open pollinated varieties being introduced that are obviously not old enough to be considered heirlooms. While there is no hard and fast definition of an heirloom tomato, it is assumed they have been grown and have remained true to type for about 2 generations or 50 years.
When you grow heirloom tomatoes, you get the benefit of years and years of selecting and perfecting the best producing, most flavorful, disease resistant and most dependable varieties. Bottom line, heirloom tomatoes are the best tasting tomatoes. Plus, many heirlooms have been grown for over 100 years. This connects us to our great great grandparents farmed to survive. We are growing the same varieties they did. That's what heirloom tomatoes are and why gardeners grow heirloom tomatoes.