I’m excited to have Melissa K. Norris as a guest here on Your Gardening Friend. She has a wealth of knowledge on gardening, and I’ve enjoyed following her posts on her blog. I’ve also been blessed by her sharing her faith – beliefs we both share and hold dear.
Please welcome Melissa K. Norris.
Most gardeners know the benefits of growing their own vegetables and fruits. The summer months are dedicated to cultivating our plants, pulling out weeds to keep them happily nourished, checking for disease, and enjoying the harvest of our hard work. For many of us, it’s also preserving time. The pressure canner jiggle seems to be a constant rhythm playing well into fall in our kitchen.
But for the heirloom gardener, summer brings one more task in our gardens. And it might be the most important of all. The heirloom gardener is saving the seed to plant for next year’s crops.
Heirloom plants have many benefits compared to the regular hybrid seed sold in most grocery stores. With the threat of GMO (genetically modified) seeds and Monsanto purchasing seed companies, heirloom seeds give peace of mind. Heirloom plants are untouched by scientists and are exactly as God created them. They cannot be patented as some hybrid and all GMO seeds are.
Heirloom seeds have many benefits, but we’ll focus on the top 3 today.
- Heirloom seeds have more varieties. Among hybrid seeds, there are fewer varieties. With heirloom seeds there are usually hundreds of different varieties within each plant species. We plant a purple heirloom potato that has 10 times more antioxidants than regular potatoes.
- Heirloom seeds have better flavor. Because most hybrid plants are bred for crop yield, disease resistance, and appearance, they don’t have the complex rich flavor of the heirloom varieties. Farmers know that people will pick the pretty, smooth, red textured tomato in the grocery store, not the heirloom tomato with ridges, array of colors, and uneven size.
- Heirloom seeds can be saved and replanted. Unlike hybrid and GMO seeds, heirloom seeds can be saved each year and replanted. You save money and become more self-sufficient. Of course, you have to learn seed saving techniques, but to most gardeners, this is eagerly welcomed.
If you’re new to heirloom gardening, I have a 40-page FREE ebook, Heirloom Gardening Guide-Plant to Save Money, to help you learn more about heirloom gardening.
Melissa K. Norris writes inspirational historical romance novels. A skilled artisan crafter, she creates new traditions from old-time customs for her readers at http://www.melissaknorris.com. She found her own little house in the big woods, where she lives with her husband and two children in the Cascade Mountains. She writes a monthly column, Pioneering Today, for the local newspaper that bridges her love of the past with its usefulness in modern life. Her books, articles, and radio show are inspired by her family’s small herd of beef cattle, her amateur barrel racing days, and her forays into quilting and canning—without always reading the directions first.