Sycamore Valley Farm

Pasture Raised Chicken, Duck, and Goose Eggs
Small batch Jams and Jellies made with heirloom and foraged Ozark Fruits.

Heirloom and Open Pollinated Vegetables

Due to the horrible weather this summer and last, we have not been able to produce many vegetables. We will try to have some greens for the fall and maybe into the winter.

So what is special about heirloom and open pollinated vegetables? Many varieties of plants (and animals!) are going extinct due to industrial agriculture. Hybrid varieties of plants are often, but not always, more productive than their heirloom or open pollinated parent varieties but they are also often less flavorful and, in my opinion, less interesting to look at. But besides flavor and eye appeal open pollinated varieties provide the world with the genetic diversity that is lacking in most monoculture commercial farms. Hybrids are bred from open pollinated parent stock. Keeping the older varieties around allows for not only diversity among open pollinated varieties, but also endless combinations of new hybrids and new open pollinated types. 

Another reason open pollinated varieties are great is because seeds can be saved from the plants and replanted the next year and the plants will be the same type that they were the previous year. That means the farmer doesn't have to buy seeds every year. With hybrids plants, the seeds may be not be viable or they will not produce the same type of plant as the plants the seeds were saved from. And unlike genetically modified plant seeds, no company owns the patent to the genetics of these heirloom varieties; anyone can grow them freely.

The best way to preserve heirlooms and the genetic diversity they provide is to continue grow and enjoy them.