I was talking to a friend in a flurry of email messages the other evening, and of course, the state of our economy and our country came up. She is a city girl, and lives in an apartment, but she has a little rooftop vegetable garden. We don't have a lot of acreage here, but we do have enough to have a nice little vegetable garden.
I have been thinking that perhaps I should be growing heirloom varieties, so that I could save those seeds with assurance that we could eat what we produced with them. Some of those hybrids produce produce that isn't very tasty. Anyway, I remember my Mother and Dad talking about the Great Depression, and how they were actually hungry. At least, if you garden, you should be able to stave off starvation.
In my research about heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers, I was surprised to find that many of the seeds we buy on the seed racks are heirloom varieties. According to the heirloom seed companies, a variety is an heirloom if it was developed before 1940 and is open pollinated. It will reproduce itself.
This is a few of the varieties I have found so far.
Beans- Kentucky Wonder pole, Asparagus beans (yard long beans), Scarlet Runner Beans.
Tomatoes- Beefsteak, Roma, Rutgers, Brandywine
Lettuce- Black Seeded Simpson, Parris Island Cos (Romaine)
Okra-Clemson Spineless, Emerald
Squash- Early Prolific Straight neck
Zucchini-Black Beauty, Gray
Swiss chard- Bright Lights (who knew?!)
I was surprised by these, but relieved too. Glad to know they are easily found, and of course, there are dozens of others. These are just a few that I have found.