Heirloom Vegetables: Saving Seed

Reader Contribution by Jennifer Black

Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants. He also discusses the importance of his gardening journal for both new and old crop varieties. Documentation proves to be an important part of heirloom vegetable gardening.  It is because of diligent gardeners like Weaver that there are heirloom varieties in existence. This clip was taken from his lecture at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR Sept. 21 to 23, 2012. Weaver details the importance of saving seeds from the best fruits and vegetables to avoid transferring defects onto the next season’s crops. He also stresses that precautionary measures must be taken to avoid passing diseases, which can be done quite frequently. Heirloom plants were produced due to their wide variety of uses and the reason they continue to be grown is their quality, appearance, and taste. You don’t have to be a master gardener to grow heirloom varieties, buying seedlings and vegetables from local gardeners or nurseries can keep your business local and still provide the high end crops that are so sought after.

William Woys Weaver has written several gardening books, including Culinary Ephemera and Heirloom Vegetable Gardening (now available as a CD-Rom), both for sale through the MOTHER EARTH NEWS shopping site.

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