What’s all the buzz about heirloom vegetables? Heirloom vegetables are usually older types of vegetables that were used long ago, before modern-day plant breeders introduced hybrid variants.If you have ever had an heirloom vegetable before, the number one reason you would want to grow them, or buy them, is because they have incredible taste. Why do they taste so much better than their more modern counterparts? Hybrid vegetables are bred so that they will last longer, but the drawback is that they lose a lot of that great taste. There are plenty of reasons why you should pick heirloom vegetables.
Heirloom vegetables hold more nutritional value than hybrid alternatives. This is because hybrids are bred with the purpose of yielding more vegetables at a time, which results in lower nutritional value per plant. As an example, Official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data shows that the average calcium content of broccoli is about 12.9 milligrams per gram of dry weight back in 1950 when heirloom vegetables were more prominent. In 2003, as hybrid vegetables became more common, that average plummeted to 4.4 milligrams per gram of dry weight.
If you have a garden and don’t like to buy new seeds or plants every single year, heirlooms are perfect for you. Hybrid vegetables don’t let you recycle the seeds you use. Heirloom vegetables, on the other hand, open pollinate, so you can save the seeds from your plants and reuse them to grow new crops in the future. You won’t have to spend any more time “guessing” which plants will work the best for your garden.
Store-bought hybrid seeds are designed to ripen all within a small window of time. While this sounds appealing, there will be an influx of produce that becomes a problem for you since you need to deal with that produce before it spoils. Heirloom seeds have the benefit of ripening more evenly, meaning you will have a constant supply of fresh vegetables without the worry of spoilage.
Heirloom seeds are usually less expensive than their engineered counterparts, so you can save money when buying your seeds. Also, remember that you can keep the seeds after each year’s harvest. You know what that means: free vegetables! What could be better than free vegetables?
Baywater Farms Can Help You
Baywater Farms is a family-owned and operated farm servicing Baltimore, Washington D.C., Maryland, Delaware beaches, and the Eastern Shore. We will be sure to meet the demands of your produce distributor, restaurant produce supplier, CSA produce supplier, or wholesale produce supplier while maintaining the integrity and character of a small farm.