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Heirloom Veggies for the Kitchen
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EC
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Joined: 08 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can someone explain to me what heirloom veggies are as opposed to your typical garden variety ones? (sorry, couldn't help that one, lol!)
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pattit
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm I am sure someone could explain it better than me, but here goes. The more modern varieties are bred for being disease resistant, being prolific etc. The heirlooms are the old varieties that might not bear as much "fruit" but they have so much more flavor. I usually only grow heirloom tomatoes because they taste so good, and beside why grow things that you can get at any market?
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kitchensqueen
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heirloom means that the veggie is open-pollinated and will reproduce another plant via seed just like the parent (as opposed to hybrid seed which does not produce true to type). Heirloom also implies that the seed has not been genetically modified or otherwise artificially altered. Heirloom seeds have typically existed for at least 40 years.

I would disagree that heirlooms don't produce as much fruit, this simply depends on the variety. One of the nice things about heirlooms is the fact that they are not all bred to be indentical clones of one another that can withstand being shipped 3000 miles. They are often found to have better flavor, more interesting colors and scents and habits because they can be grown and sold close to home, as opposed to your regular supermarket stuff that ends up being, as I mentioned, shipped across whole continents before it gets to your plate.
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EC
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patti/Kitchqueen,

That clears up a lot. Although Iíve grown veggies for quite a few seasons I havenít really gotten into it to the point where I started looking at stuff like that. Well, I now know I have no Heirlooms planted this year but next year Iím definitely going to try someÖ.mainly tomatoes.

Thanks!
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kitchensqueen
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should definitely request a Seed Saver's Exchange catalog. They have a dizzying array of tomatoes (and other veggies) that are all heirlooms. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds also focuses on heirlooms. Two really great catalogs.
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pattit
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my favorite heirloom tomatoes is the Brandywine, part of it is that it is fairly local and is easy to find as plants. I planted Mortgage lifter this year also. I planted Cherokee (I think that was its name.) One year but just couldn't get used to the color and taste and it only produced about 3 tomatoes. I am not sure if the pineapple tomato is an heirloom, but they have great flavor and are so darn pretty that I try to grow them every year also. I love gardening, can you tell?
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kitchensqueen
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love gardening too. Smile I'm pretty sure there is an heirloom tomato called Pineapple. I tried searching on www.seedsavers.com to find the name, but didn't come up with anything. What does it look like?
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pattit
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked and it is an heirloom, it is both yellow and red streaked. It looks so great in a tomato basil salad, with the other tomatoes. It is a rather large tomato also, I don't know why but I lean toward the larger size tomatoes, even though it is a longer wait to get some ripe ones, they are well worth the wait.
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EC
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you guys know of an heirloom tomato variety that is green, even when fully ripe? My grandmother used to grow them but she's long past on and my mother doesn't know what type they were but we all loved them!
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kitchensqueen
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are several varieites. The one that comes to mind at the moment is Green Zebra. It's kind of tart. There are definitely others though.
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