If you are getting ready to sit down with a few seed catalogues right about now, then you might want to consider growing some heirloom varieties this year.
What are heirloom plants? They are plants grown from freely pollinated and collected seeds. Basically they are old varieties, usually at least fifty years old. Most modern seeds we find in the shops and catalogues today are hybrid varieties. This means they have been chosen, bred, and packaged up to deliver disease resistant, productive, and uniform produce. This seems like a great idea, but we are also at risk of losing out on our biodiversity, and some great tasting vegetables!
One of the nice things about growing heirloom varieties is that you can save the seed produced at the then end of the season to grow the same crop again the following year. This is a very economical way to grow your own!
If this has peaked your interest check out some of the following:
Why buy heirloom seeds?
Growing Heirloom Varieties
Real Seeds--this is one of my favourites! Lots of seeds, info on how to grow and save seeds.
Vegetable Seed Store
Garden Organic--this organisation has tons of information as well as organic seeds, and some heirloom varieties
ThomasEtty--sells heritage seeds
Allotments UK--a wealth of information on growing your own
(I cannot vouch for any of these companies. I just did a quick Internet search.)
Heirloom Acres Seeds
Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds