Thursday, March 31, 2011

Garden or Museum - what’s the big deal with heirloom veg?

Heirloom vegetables and flowers (or as well call them over here in the UK – heritage) have been big for some time now. Much more so in North American than home. In fact I am always really surprised about how enthusiastic American gardeners are about ‘vegetables our grandmothers grew’. The love of heirloom veg however goes along with a certain hostility to modern varieties, and modern breeding methods such as F1 hybridisation, particularly claims that heirlooms taste better; there is also an undercurrent that heirlooms are somehow better for the world, more ethical. Here I’d like to challenge this and stand up for modern scientific plant breeding. There is also a political point I’d like to make. Read on..........

1 comment:

Single Gal said...

I don't know what the big deal with "heirloom" vegetables either. But maybe that's because I'm a beginning gardener and don't know much.

I had a friend of mine who buys only "Heirloom" seed packets.

Anyway, as far as breeding is concerned I am sure there are some advantages. The one thing I am thinking about though, is how they have those mini roses aren't there, but because of the breeding, they don't have the fragrane that regular roses do. That's the downside, to me, concerning breeding and hybrids.