null
The Benefits of Heirloom Seeds

The Benefits of Heirloom Seeds

Posted by Auntie Sue on Jul 28th 2020

Self-sufficiency and food security is the legacy of heirloom seeds. We connect to at least 3 generations, and sometimes up to 3 or more centuries, of sustainable planting and gardening through heirloom seeds. These seeds have been passed down from our ancestors and continue to survive because of home gardeners and local farmers like you, who are dedicated to the cause of the heirloom seed movement.

Heirloom seeds preserve genetic diversity

Growing heirloom seed is a way to preserve ancient plant genetics and maintain nature’s most quickly endangered resource, plant diversity. This resource is endangered as uniformity is inbred into plants by multinational seed companies. Concern grows as the corporate sector continues to gain control of the world’s food supply through seed infertility, patents, and technology rights.

Heirloom seeds grant the freedom to save seeds, breed new varieties, and encourage plant diversity. Diversity is important because it allows plants to continually adapt to changing environmental conditions and human needs. Plants are allowed to adjust to different climates and develop resistance to local pests and disease when there are many varieties.

Heirloom seeds promise self-sufficiency

Heirloom seeds grant freedom of sustainability. Since the dawn of agriculture some 10,000 years ago seeds have been a common, self-regenerative, sustaining resource. Seeds were considered common property until the laws of patent and seed variety protection were passed in the 1970’s. Multinational agricultural companies started owning seed and controlling and charging for its uses. They began buying out small farms and re-selling farmers their own seeds back to them, causing seed varieties to disappear as farmers fell into indebtedness and impoverishment.

Growing heirloom seed provides freedom from seed privatization and patent bio-piracy. We can save, exchange, and trade heirloom seeds in our own backyards without signing any contacts or paying technology fees. This gives us the freedom to feed our families and communities year after year.

Heirloom seeds produce uncontaminated food

The health benefits of growing heirloom seeds are insurmountable. You can claim your right to eat food without genetic contamination, chemical toxins, or decreased nutritional value. Heritage seeds produce food that is safe, healthy, and completely organic. Food derived from heritage seeds also has incomparable tenderness and flavor.

Heirloom seeds connect us to our history

The practice of growing heirloom seed connects us to our heritage. Interest in preserving ancient varieties is what often initially attracts gardeners to the heirloom seed movement. We can grow the exact heirloom vegetables and other foods that our great, great grandparents grew and lived on. We can plant varieties derived from our favorite places in the world. We can also focus on growing plants from a time in history that resonates with us, decades or centuries before, connecting us to historic peoples and lifestyles.