November 10, 2014

Gardening with Heirloom Seeds, a Guest Post

Like most of you, I've put my garden to sleep for the winter and am looking ahead to spring. Most gardeners spend the dark winter months planning next year's garden, choosing seeds, and dreaming of solutions to last year's challenges. Today we have a guest post from Mary of Mary's Heirloom Seeds. Mary gardens organically with heirloom seeds and is here to tell us about the advantages of growing heirloom varieties.

Hey there! I am so excited to share with you today about SEEDS!  My name is Mary and together with my husband we own and operate Mary's Heirloom Seeds. We offer over 170 varieties of heirloom, non-GMO, open-pollinated, untreated seeds as well as organic gardening supplies.  I also blog over at Back to the Basics.

Today I'm sharing about the benefits of growing organically with heirloom seeds.  First, I should probably explain about heirloom seeds.

What is an Heirloom Seed?

An heirloom seed variety has been saved and passed down from generation to generation. These seeds have been carefully cultivated and are considered a great value to the recipient. Some say an heirloom variety is 50 years old or more.  Some heirloom varieties have been passed down for over 100 years and others for over 400 years.

Heirloom seeds can be very unique like the Lemon Cucumber or Romanesco Italia Broccoli and others are just like the produce you buy in the store (only tastier) like the Roma Tomato

Romanesco Broccoli
Heirloom seeds are also open-pollinated.  One of the many benefits of planting heirloom seeds is seed saving!  Heirloom seeds have also been called "heritage seeds."  Seed saving is how farmers and horticulturists have preserved the integrity of these seed varieties for hundred of years.

Why Grow Organic?

For starters, growing organic veggies is healthier for the planet.  Each year, billions of pounds of cancer-causing pesticides are sprayed around the world.  Yes, the EPA has determined that pesticides can cause cancer. Source

The health of your family, friends and customers is another very important reason to grow organic.  Whether you grow for your family, a CSA or farmers market, organically grown produce is the simplest way to know what you're eating.  After all, companies in the US have been donating millions of dollars to fight for our right to know what's in our food.

Maybe the simplest reason to grow organic veggies is that it tastes better!  Have you ever compared the difference between a store-bought tomato and a homegrown heirloom tomato? The heirloom tomato will always win in my house!

Last but certainly not least, we grow organic from heirloom seeds because it saves money!  There are many ways to reduce pests in the garden: Companion Planting, Raised Beds and DIY Pest Control recipes.

Growing from seed isn't very difficult.  In fact, I think it's easier than buying plants from the nursery.  When you grow from seed in YOUR environment and in YOUR own way, seedlings and plants will adapt.  I have created a Growing from Seed page with detailed instructions.  This is a great place to start on your journey to growing a successful organic garden.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.  We just opened up our first seed store and we're thrilled to offer new educational programs for our community.

Mary loves sharing information on organic growing. You can LIKE her on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and check out her blogs Mary's Heirloom Seeds and Back to the Basics.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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  1. Anonymous3:59 PM

    I, too, fight the use of GMO seeds and plants. I read your blog and follow the new posts when I receive notices from facebook. I have just recently started a homesteading blog myself that is located at and would appreciate it if you could check it out.

    Thank you,
    Brendalgh at Southern Urban Homesteader

  2. Good for you, Brendalgh! I'll go take a look.

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