Heirloom seeds are those seeds which have not undergone genetic modification. These seeds have the benefit of being able to be harvested, dried, and reused year after year. The reason for the term “heirloom” is much like a family keepsake, these seeds can be passed down from one generation to the next indefinitely.
A drawback of heirloom seeds is that because they are not hybrid, they may not be as resistant to disease, and tend to produce smaller, less voluptuous fruits and vegetables. But having the advantage of not being sterile, they are loved for their ability to provide infinite residuals in the form of life-giving fresh produce.
Others appreciate the wholesomeness provided from fruits and vegetables that start out as heirloom seedlings, though the long-term effects resulting from consuming genetically modified foods are largely unstudied and unknown. So the heirloom seeds provide many the comfort of not having to venture into unproven territory.
Bloggers note that the success rate is much lower in replanting hybrid seeds, and doing so also causes you to run the risk of acting unlawfully because of patent issues. There is no such danger in collecting and reusing heirloom seeds.
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