The Benefits of Growing Heirloom Tomatoes and Potatoes
About Heirloom Tomatoes and Potatoes
The Benefits of Growing Heirloom Tomatoes and Potatoes
Two very popular and nutritious foods are virtually inedible today. The red tomatoes on the supermarket shelves are specifically bred for long distance travel with no consideration for nutrition. The common white potatoes are so heavily sprayed with pesticides that only organic potatoes are recommended. What we are eating now are known as hybrids - a cross between two or more varieties.
As more and more people demand nutrition from their foods, an option is heirloom fruits and vegetables. If you can't grow them, look for them at your local farmer's market.
What is an heirloom plant?
Heirloom fruits and vegetables are defined in several different ways.
- the variety has to grow from seed that has been saved from a previous fruit
- the seeds must have been available for over 50 years (the Brandywine has been grown for more than 100 years).
- the heirloom tomato must then have its own history or folklore.
- it can be considered if it is a cultivar that has been grown for a particular length of time - usually quite long.
- it can be considered an herloom plant because it has been preserved and passed down by a group or family.
What is meant by an open - pollination?
This term is commonly applied to heirloom plants because when the seeds are planted the next generation of plants will look like the parent. With potatoes it is a bit different because they are not grown from seeds. Potatoes grow by planting the buds (or eyes) that naturally sprout from the potatoes.
With hybrids and genetically modified potatoes there are no eyes so you cannot plant from previous potatoes - you always have to buy more seeds.
How is it more nutritious?
Unlike the mass produced foods of today that are shipped long distances and must be able to survive, with heirlooms this was not necessary. Heirlooms were grown locally and did not have to survive shipment. Recent research has also shown that the newer vegetables and fruits of today have significantly less nutitional value than heirlooms plants.
What about pest problems?
Locally grown food tends to survive pest attacks and avoid diseases. Planting food that is best for your soil and climate gives the heirloom the opportunity to be the most pest-resistant type of plant. By saving seeds from your own previous grown successful heirlooms, each year the plants will become hardier and more reliable.
About the heirloom tomato
What makes the tomato unique is that genetically they have evolved with natural resistance to both pests and disease. Heirloom tomatoes have been adapted for centuries to thrive in different climates and in various growing conditions.
The heirloom tomato is also an open pollinator - this means it is grown from the seed of an earlier fruit. Hybrids, a cross between two or more plants means the seeds must be purchased annually.
Look for a wide range of colors such as green, purple, white, pink, black, orange and stripes.
About the heirloom potato
Heirloom potatoes are not the common hybrid potatoes found in the average supermarket. Scientists have not altered heirloom potatoes to create the large tubers we have become used to.
You'll have the pleasure of enjoying taste when you bite into the many different colors of the heirloom. The more colorful potatoes tend to have a flavor that is stronger than the creamy whites or yellow.
A major benefit of heirloom potatoes is their gradual growth. Because heirlooms are less uniform than the mass produced hybrids, they tend to ripen at different times. This allows you to have a slower harvest and gradual supply for eating.
Added benefit - the costs of heirlooms
The cost of heirlooms is generally less expensive than buying hybrids. There is even a greater money saving benefit because with heirloom potatoes you will use the buds - with tomatoes you use seeds. Your annual cost will now be zero dollars.
Also consider growing potatoes native to the environment. See links below for these potatoes.
For more information on heirloom tomatoes and potatoes, see the links below.
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Heirloom Tomatoes and Potatoes
- What are Heirloom Tomatoes? The Fast Facts
If you are planning to grow tomatoes again, you may want to try heirloom tomatoes. In addition to looking simply beautiful and very colorful, these tomatoes are proven to be better than the common hybrids we have to purchase each time.
- Benefits of Heirloom Potatoes
Remember when potatoes used to taste so good? Now you can find great potatoes once again. Consider heirloom potatoes. When shopping, be sure you know exactly what makes a potato an heirloom.
- Planting and Enjoying Native Edible Tubers: the Colo...
Potatoes, also called tubers, belong to the plant group known as geophytes. Geophytes are plants that retain energy in their fleshy underground parts. This will help them survive while in a partially dormant state during the harshest periods of the..
- Planting and Enjoying Native Edible Tubers: the Jeru...
Why not consider growing native potatoes in your garden, such as the Jerusalem artichoke. This tuber is easy to grow and has a long history with many benefits.
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