With the uneasy spectre of GMOs looming everywhere and the often prohibitive cost and difficulty of accessing a good variety of organic produce, you may be thinking of giving your own garden a go. You control the conditions, the impact on the land and the methods of pest prevention. One way to make this an even more healthful and wholesome experience is to try your thumb at growing ‘heirloom’, also known as ‘heritage’, seeds. The plants from these seeds are open-pollinated – pollinated by natural means such as by insects or the wind, producing plants just like the parent plant – usually grown small-scale with traditional tending and cultivation techniques and the seeds descend directly from known lineage that traces back many decades.
We consulted with Judy Newman of Seeds of Diversity, a heritage seed-saving organization, and Tanya Stefanec of Heritage Harvest Seed, a Canadian heirloom/heritage seed company, for some advice and information about these seeds and managing them at home:
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