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February 03, 2013 3 min read

During the periods of evolution of mankind, the first humans took hold of an area and gave up their nomadic lifestyle. With time, domestic animals were looked after by the humans and successively the idea of agriculture came into being. And then with age, agriculture was more inclined to industrial side. Then the concept of heirloom cultivation suddenly came into existence. Answering to what is heirloom seeds; it is more accurate to say that these are heritage plants that were commonly cultivated during the early period of human beings. The heirloom plants belong to the group of cultivars. A cultivar is referred to an individual plant or a group of plants that are selected for some specific characteristics. These characteristics may include the yield quantity of the plant, its defiance against diseases and its extent to be used as a food source. Also, these qualities are kept through open pollination, which means; the plant is exactly the same as its parent without any major evolution and is dependent on natural pollination via insects or the wind. In other words the plant keeps the same trait as developed by the ancestors. Heirloom plantation is an answer to the modern cultivation techniques, as the use of commercial hybrid seeds in the market has increased significantly.

Heirloom seeds are adapted to all soil types, and different climatic conditions. Due to heredity traits, they are resistant to diseases and common pests. On the other hand, the hybrid seeds may be richer with excellent qualities and larger production, but the ability of self reproduction is an area where they definitely fail. One major advantage of heirloom plantation is the excellent flavor that is carries within. They taste nice and real, they look fresh and beautiful and moreover, they are easy to grow. And it would be considerable if we could save these heirlooms, because so many of them are facing threats of extinction. Such plants need conservation in the present world, as it is not certain when the commercial seed market would collapse or face acute shortage problem. Many discussions today are concerned with what are heirloom seeds and are they good to assist in traditional growing techniques? Well depending upon how these seeds are raised, the whole process seems good to go. Cultivators save the seeds of their best plant. Heirloom cultivation are described on a small scale and grown from seeds that are almost 50 years old. With this sort of unique cultivation, heirloom has become much popular among the environmentalists and organizations that advocate for diversifying genetics and heredity in agriculture. Each cultivation session you can grow crops, harvest the plants, save the seed and store and then use them for next growing period. If you can save a lot of seeds, an exchange business with other cultivators can also be very demanding and profitable. There is another popular idea of cultivars, known as “commercial heirloom” which describes those cultivars that were grown many years ago but were of such asset that they have been conserved, and prevail till date. If you have good knowledge of what is heirloom seeds, then you must also have the idea that some very popular varieties of heirloom that have an increasing demand among the growers are beans, cabbage, corn, cucumber, melon, lettuce, tomato, radish and squash.

Before agriculture stepped into industrialization, a large variety of seed foods were grown for human intake. But heirloom plants are still widely grown in southern areas of Asia. However there are certain disabilities associated with heirloom seeds, they may not always carry the same trait. Secondly open pollination is completely natural process and can be slow at times. Open pollination is not successful for the plants that are not grown from seeds. Also heirloom cultivation needs experienced hands and can be a challenge for new growers. Seeds may take longer time to germinate and grow into seedlings, and some might come in existence just when you thought that it is dead. No doubt, these heirloom varieties are erratic. It would rather be helpful, if considerable study is done on what is heirloom seeds, what duration will it take to nurture and precise time to turn into an heirloom farm.

Regardless of the type or variety of seeds you will be planting. All natural deer and animal repellents are a key ingredient to a healthy garden and a bountiful harvest.


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