3Definitions What is an heirloom variety: An open-pollinated variety having some considerable ancestry and history of use.
4Definitions, cont.Open-pollinated: not a hybrid variety; seeds from OP plants will grow plants that exhibit the desired varietal characteristics (provided proper care has been taken to prevent out-crossing with other varieties).
5Definitions, cont.When plant breeders create a hybrid variety, they cross two lines and come out with progeny exhibiting desired characters. This hybrid generation is termed the F1 generation, and it has a very uniform set of characters. However, when the F1 is allowed to set seed, the resulting F2 generation exhibits a very wide and unpredictable set of characters.
6Parental plants = round, yellow and wrinkled, green. F1 generation = all uniformly round and yellow.F2 generation = four different phenotypes, nine different genotypes.Saving seed from the F1 will not yield uniform plants in subsequent generations.
7Definitions, cont.Variety: a named “type” of a vegetable species, having certain distinguishing characteristics (taste, shape, color, size, length of season, etc.), being adapted to certain climates and soils, being resistant (or not!) to certain pests/diseases…A variety can be OP or hybrid.
8Definitions, cont.Considerable ancestry and history of use: decades or centuries of use. Often, long history in limited geographic area before becoming more widely available. Often, cultural connection with human society of origin.
9Flour corn: Hopi Yellow Tarahumara Maiz Rojo Vadito Blue Mayo TosabatchiImages courtesy of Native Seeds/SEARCH
10How are heirloom varieties different? From hybrids: these are specific crosses of two distinct lines, having very uniform characteristics. Seed from the F1 generation, when grown out, exhibit wide variability and few come true to the F1 “type”. Often bred for high performance under optimum conditions, may not handle stress well.From newer open-pollinated varieties: these don’t (yet) have a history, a record of use and approval, a connection to a group of people…however, from today’s new open pollinated varieties come tomorrow’s heirloom varieties.
11Why grow heirloom varieties? Given that many hybrids do quite well in garden settings, taste fine, and may have more pest/disease resistance…this is a good question.The challengeThe variety of varietiesThe biodiversityTo save seeds
12The challengeMany gardeners appreciate a challenge. Some of the tastier heirloom varieties may require extra love and care to be successful.Waltham 29 broccoliNew England Pie pumpkin
132. The variety of varieties Many gardeners like to grow multiple types of certain crops, to revel in the variety. Different colors, shapes, tastes, uses…it’s easy to get lost in the bounty! Market gardeners benefit from offering their clientele a nice range of choices.Red Core Chantenay, Japanese Imperial Long, Scarlet Nantes and Oxheart carrots. Images courtesy of Seeds of Change.
143. The biodiversityThe greater the range of genes available in a crop plant species, the more secure the future of that crop. Just a few large corporations control the majority of crop seeds, and they offer relatively few choices.Smaller, independent seed companies, certain non-profit organizations and backyard gardeners are vitally important to the maintenance of the incredible genetic diversity that humanity has fostered in our cultivated plants.
154. To be able to save seedsMany gardeners like to save seeds from their own gardens, to plant again next year and to share with friends. Seed saving is a fun hobby and a useful art. Depending on the species, seed saving is relatively easy (beans, tomatoes) or it may require considerable planning and care (squash, peppers).
16Seed saving: a brief discussion Heirloom varieties can inspire the latent seed-saver in a gardener. Simplisticly, successful seed saving relies upon four steps:1. Ensure proper pollination2. Allow plants to mature seeds3. Harvest seed, process as appropriate4. Store seed properly until next planting
17Following is a discussion of some different plant families, some important crop species in those families, some of the heirloom varieties available and specific seed-saving guidelines.
19Variety names:Leek: Giant Musselburgh, Blue Solaize, Prizetaker.Seed saving: self-incompatible, insect pollinated. Isolate varieties by 1-3 miles, or cage and hand pollinate. Biennial, produce flower stalks after 4-6 weeks cold weather. Can overwinter here under mulch. Overwintering leeks often produce side shoots which can be used to vegetatively reproduce the variety.
20Poncho Giant Musselburg Images courtesy Seeds of Change
21Variety names:Onion: Texas GranoShallot: French, Dutch Yellow, GrayMultiplier: Yellow, PotatoSeed saving: similar to leeks: for purity, isolate well from other A. cepa that will flower at same time. Shallots, multiplier/ potato onions often reproduced vegetatively (no isolation required for propagation this way).
22Yellow shallots; red shallots (de Groot) Texas Grano (Thompson & Morgan)
23Variety names:Garlic: Inchelium Red, Georgian Crystal, Chet’s Italian Red, California Early, Spanish Roja, Killarney Red, German Brown, Persian Star, Red Czar, Brown Rose, Jovak, Rosewood, Georgia Fire, Wild Buff, Susanville, Nootka Rose, Mild French, Idaho Silver, St. Helens, Asian Tempest, Red Janice, China Stripe, Lotus, Uzbek Turban, Burgandy, Cuban Purple, Pescadero Red……Seed saving: garlic does not make true seed. Plant cloves or bulbils. No need to isolate.
24Asian Tempest Georgian Crystal Inchelium Red Persian Star (Courtesy Seed Savers Exchange)
25Family: Brassicaceae Crop species: Brassica juncea: mustard greens B. oleracea: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabiB. rapa: turnip, Chinese cabbage, broccoli raabRaphanus sativus: radishSeed saving: insect pollinated, largely self-incompatible. Save seed from more than one plant. Isolate by ½ mile or cage.
26Variety names:Mustard: Osaka Purple, Giant Red, Green WaveCabbage: Early Jersey Wakefield, Mammoth Red Rock, Premium Late Flat DutchBroccoli: Waltham 29, Calabrese, De CiccoCauliflower: Early Snowball, Purple CapeKale: Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch, LacinatoKohlrabi: Supershmeltz, DynaCollards: Champion, VatesBrussels Sprouts: Long Island Improved
27Calabrese Early Jersey Wakefield Mammoth Red Rock Early Snowball Vates Dwarf Blue Curled ScotchCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
28Turnip: Purple Top White Globe, Shogoin, Scarlet Ball Variety names:Turnip: Purple Top White Globe, Shogoin, Scarlet BallRadish: China Rose, French Breakfast, German Beer, Round Black Spanish, White IcicleBroccoli Raab: Sorrento, ZamboniCourtesy Seeds of Change
29French Breakfast Round Black Spanish White Icicle Courtesy Seed Savers Exchange
30Family: Chenopodiaceae Crop species:Beta vulgaris: beet, Swiss chardSpinacia oleraceae: spinachSeed saving: wind pollinated, self-fertile. Isolate in time or space, or cage, or bag inflorescence.Spinach is monoecious, need a ratio of 1 male per two female plants.
31Variety names:Beet: Burpee’s Golden, Chioggia, Cylindra, Detroit Dark Red, Lutz Green Leaf, Bull’s BloodSwiss Chard: Fordhook Giant, Rhubarb, Five Color SilverbeetSpinach: Bloomsdale Long Standing, Viroflay
32Bulls Blood Burpee’s Golden Chioggia Cylindra Fordhook Giant Rhubarb Color Silverbeet AmericaCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
33Family: Asteraceae Crop species: Lactuca sativa: lettuce Seed saving: grown in Egypt by about 4500 BC. Largely self-pollinating, as flower opens. Can be insect pollinated, chance of cross-pollination by neighboring varieties not well known. Cage to ensure complete purity, or stagger planting times. USDA recommends 12 feet between varieties.
34Variety names:Amish Deer Tongue, Australian Yellowleaf, Baby Oakleaf, Bronze Arrowhead, Bunte Forellenschuss, Buttercrunch, Crisp Mint, Flame, Gold Rush, Green Oakleaf, Lollo Rossa, Mascara, Merveille des Quatre Saisions, Pablo, Pirat, Red Coral, Red Leprechaun, Red Rapids, Red Romaine, Red Salad Bowl, Red Velvet, Reine des Glaces, Rossa di Trento, Rossimo, Rouge d’Hiver, Rubin, Slobolt, Tango, Tennis Ball, etc., etc., etc
35Amish Deer Bronze Bunte Flame Tongue Arrowhead Forellenschuss Merveille des Pirat Red Romaine TangoQuatre SaisonsCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
37Seed saving:All species in this family have separate male and female flowers on each plant. All are insect pollinated and readily outcross with other varieties in same species. Isolate by ½ mile, or do hand-pollinating (flower bagging is easier than caging).
38Variety names:Watermelon: Blacktail Mountain, Chelsea, Chris Cross, Cream of Saskatchewan, Melitopolski, Moon and Stars, Mountain Sweet Yellow, Orangeglo, Picnic, Sweet Siberian, Acoma, Hopi Red, Hopi Yellow, Jemez, Jumanos, Mayo, Navojo Red-seeded, San Juan, Rio San Miguel, Santo Domingo Winter, Tohono O’odham Yellow meated.Melons: Acoma, Chimayo, Hopi Casaba, Isleta Pueblo, Jemiz, Melon de Castillo, Navajo Yellow, New Mexico (from Alameda!), O’odham Ke:li Ba:so, San Felipe, Santo Domingo, Amish, Banana, Bidwell Casaba, Burrell’s Jumbo, Cavaillon Espagnol, Collective Farm Woman, Crane, Early Hanover, Eden’s Gem, Green Nutmeg, Hearts of Gold, Hollybrook Luscious, Haogen, Jenny Lind, Minnesota Midget, Noir des Carmes, Piel de Sapo, Prescott Fond Blanc, Pride of Wisconsin, Sakata’s Sweet, Schoon’s Hard Shell.
39Variety names:Cucumber: A& C Pickling, Boothby’s Blonde, Bushy, Double Yield, Early Fortune, Japanese Climbing, Longfellow, Miniature White, Parade, Snow’s Fancy Pickling, True Lemon, White Wonder, Clinton, Telegraph Improved, Wautoma, Homemade Pickles, Marketmore.Squash (C. maxima): Amish Pie, Anna Swartz Hubbard, Australian Butter, Galeux d’Eysines, Golden Hubbard, Guatemalan Blue Banana, Iran, Kikuza, Queensland Blue, Rouge Vif d’Etampes, Calabaza del Norte, Indian Pumpkin, Mayo Blusher, Minnie’s Apache Hubbard, Mormon Squash, Navajo Hubbard, Peñasco Cheese, Taos.Squash (C. mixta): Tennessee Sweet Potato, Waltham Butternut.Squash (C. moschata): Magdalena Big Cheese, Mayo Segualca, Middle Rio Conchos, Pima Bajo, Kikuza, Long Island Cheese.
41Blacktail Mountain Chris Cross Moon and Stars Orangeglo Banana Collective Farm Early Hanover Prescott Fond Blanc WomanCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
42Boothby’s Blonde Miniature White Snow’s Fancy True Lemon Pickling Galeux d’Eysines Guatemalan Blue Long Island Cheese Summer Crookneck BananaCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
43Family: Fabaceae Crop Species: Phaseolus acutifolius: tepary bean P. coccineus: runner beanP. lunatus: lima beanP. vulgaris: common beanPisum sativum: garden peaVicia faba: fava beanSeed saving: largely self-pollinating, may be crossed by insects. For purity grow one variety, cage, or isolate by some distance.
44Variety names:Tepary: Big Fields White, Big Fields Brown, Black, Blue Speckled, Brown Speckled, Cocopah Brown, Cocopah White, Colonia Morelos Speckled, Guarijio White, Hopi White, Kickapoo White, Little Tucson Brown, Menager’s Dam Brown, Paiute Mixed, Paiute Yellow, Pima Beige and Brown, Pinacate, Sacaton Brown, Sacaton White, San Felipe Pueblo White, San Ignacio, San Pablo Balleza, Santa Rosa, Sonoran White, Tohono O’odham Brown, Tohono O’odham White, Yoeme Brown, Yoeme White.
45Runner: Four Corners, Scarlet Runner, Painted Lady, Sunset Runner. Lima: Christmas Lima, Henderson Bush Lima, Sieva, Thorogreen.Common: Arikara Yellow, Bountiful, Brittle Wax, Brockton Horticultural, Cherokee Trail of Tears, Dragon’s Tongue, Hidatsa Shield Figure, Kentucky Wonder Bush, Jacob’s Cattle Gasless, Lazy Housewife, Mayflower, Rattlesnake Soup, Speckled Cranberry, Swedish Brown, Oregon Blue Lake, Tongue of Fire, Four Corners Gold, Frijol Gringo, Hopi Black, Hopi Light Yellow, Hopi Pink, Hopi Pinto, Hopi red, Milta Black, Mt. Pima Burro & Caballito, New Mexico Bolitas, O’odham Pink, Taos Red, Vadito Bolita
46Garden pea: Amish Snap, British Wonder, Dwarf Gray Sugar, Green Arrow, Little Marvel, Sutton’s Harbinger, Tom Thumb, Cascadia Snap, Sugar Ann, Oregon Giant.Fava: Aquadulce, Sweet Lorane, Broad Windsor, Banner (used for cover crop/green manure), Friedrichs (used for cover crop/green manure).(certain people, mostly men of southern European descent, may have potentially fatal allergy to fava beans)
47Big Fields White Blue Speckled Tohono O’odham Paiute Mixed Brown Courtesy Native Seeds/SEARCHBig Fields White Blue Speckled Tohono O’odham Paiute Mixed BrownChristmas Sieva Painted Lady SunsetCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
48Arikara Yellow Dragon’s Tongue Mayflower Brittle Wax True Red Arikara Yellow Dragon’s Tongue Mayflower Brittle Wax True Red CranberryBrockton Swedish Brown Jacob’s Cattle Hidatsa Shield Cherokee Trail Horticultural Gasless Figure of TearsCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
49Dwarf Gray Sugar Little Marvel Tom Thumb Green Arrow Edible Podded British Wonder Amish Snap Aquadulce Broad WindsorCourtesy Seed Savers ExchangeCourtesy Territorial Seed Company
50Family: Solanaceae Crop species: Capsicum anuum: sweet and chili peppersLycopersicon escultentum: tomatoSolanum melongena: eggplantS. tuberosum: potato
51Variety names:Peppers: Alma Paprika, Aji Crystal, Ancho Gigantea, Balloon, Beaver Dam, Black Hungarian, Bulgarian Carrot, Candlelight, Chervena Chushka, Cyklon, Fatali, Fish, Garden Sunshine, Georgia Flame, Golden Treasure, Jimmy Nardello’s Sweet Italian Frying Pepper, Hot Portugal, Lemon Drop, Marconi Red, Napolean Sweet, Orange Bell, Quadrato Asti Giallo, Santa Fe Grande, California Wonder, Staddon’s Select, Italian Pepperoncini, Gourmet, Red Bull’s Horn, Buran, Anaheim, Mulato Isleno, Ancho 101, Big Jim, etc.Seed saving: all are capable of self-pollinating, but will also easily out-cross with insect assistance. Isolate by at least 500 feet, or cage. May need flower agitation or hand pollination. Bag individual flowers to prevent crossing.
52Tomato: SSE members offer 2,980 varieties Tomato: SSE members offer 2,980 varieties!! Amish Paste, Angora Super Sweet, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Austin’s Red Pear, Basinga, Black Krim, Black Plum, Black from Tula, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Cherry Roma, Czech’s Bush, Druzba, Dr. Wyche’s Yellow, German Pink, Giant Syrian, Golden Sunray, Green Zebra, Hillbilly Potato Leaf, Hungarian Heart, Isis Candy Cherry , Juane Flamme, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Lemon Drop, Long Tom, Martino’s Roma, Nebraska Wedding, Nyagous, Opalka, Orange Banana, Principe Borghese, Peron, Purple Russina, Red Fig, Riesentraube, Russian Persimmon, Soldacki, Stupice, Tommy Toe, Tiger Tom, White Beauty…the list goes ever on!Seed saving: Most tomatoes can be grown side by side with no trouble. To save seed, squeeze ripe fruit into container to collect seeds and surrounding gel. Allow gel to ferment for a few days. After this time, rinse resulting smelly goop to clean and isolate seeds, and then allow them to air dry.
53Eggplant: Applegreen, Casper, Diamond, Florida High Bush, Listada de Gandia, Pingtung Long, Rosita, Thai Green, Udumalapet.Seed saving: primarily self-pollinating; isolate by 50 feet or cage. To collect seed, fruit must ripen far past edible stage. Grate bottom portion of fruit (greatest seed density) into a bowl. Add water to within 2 inches of rim, squeeze gratings to release good seeds (which will sink to bottom).Potato: All Blue, Butte, Caribe, Carola, Cranberry Red, Rose Gold, Russian Banana, Yukon Gold, Elba, Red Cloud, Island Sunshine, Swedish Peanut, Rose Finn Apple, Onaway, Reddale.Seed saving: mostly reproduced vegetatively, no chance of crossing.
54Chimayo Alcalde Lemon Drop Alma Paprika Jimmy Nardello’s Ancho Gigantea Isleta Bulgarian CarrotCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange, Native Seeds/SEARCH
55Dixie Golden Giant Druzba Costoluto Genovesee Evergreen Indische Fleish Hazel Mae Martino’s Roma HillbillyLemony Peacevine Cherry Orange Russian Oregon SpringCourtesy Tomatofest
56Applegreen FL High Bush Listada de Gandia Ping Tung Long All Blue Russian Banana Cranberry Red Yukon GoldCourtesy Seed Savers Exchange
57Family: Apiaceae Crop species: Apium graveolens: celery Anethum graveolens: dillCoriandrum sativium: coridander (cilantro)Daucus carota: carrotFoeniculum vulgare: fennelSeed saving: Seed saving: perfect flowers, self-incompatible. Insect pollinated. For purity, isolate by three miles, or cage, or hand pollinate.
58Variety names:Celery: Ventura, Giant Red, Brilliant (celeriac)Dill: Long Island Mammoth, Dukat, Fernleaf,Bouquet SeedCoriander: Slo BoltCarrot: Nantaise, Amstrong, Yellowstone, Royal Chantenay, Danvers, Rodelika, Thumbelina, KuttigerFennel: Perfection, Fino, Romy
59Courtesy Seeds of Change Japanese Imperial LongOxheartRed Core ChantennayScarlet NantesCourtesy Seeds of Change
60Family: Poaceae Crop species: Zea mays: corn Seed saving: wind pollinated, readily cross between varieties. For good pollination plant is blocks, not rows. Large population sizes guard against inbreeding depression. Isolate by two miles for purity, or bag and hand-pollinate. Sequential planting can provide isolation in time, but you must have a good idea of the maturity time of the varieties involved.