Heirloom Vegetables

Joined Dec 30, 1999
Does anyone here grow these in their gardens? What are your favorites?
Joined Oct 5, 2001
I tried unsuccessfully to post this on Momoreg's topic. I will try to post it here to see if this works.

Dear Momoreg:

I usually plant carrots and potatoes in a mix of vegetable garden dirt and sand (not from the seashore because it contains salt but from a river bed). I use 80% dirt and 20% sand. This helps with drainage especially in areas that get a lot of rain during the summer and it makes it easy for me to pull the veges out of the soil without damaging them.

I had very good results by planting carrots four inches appart. You can plant them closer if you are planning to get "baby carrots".

I believe that you can plant your bell pepper plants outside next week (we are expecting rain on Saturday and Saturday night will be colder). Make sure that they get a lot of direct sunshine.

Because of the high humidity that we experience in Connecticut even during the summer months, do not plant your plants too close together because it will promote fungus and leaf mold.

I hope that I answered your questions.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Thanks for the lesson, cape. I learned something new.


You message got through okay on the oother thread, but thanks for posting it again.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
First let me try and explain what a "heirloom"vegetable is.
Every fall,gardeners of special breeds harvast the seeds that will keep a little bit of history alive for one more year.These are "Heirloom" gardeners,and the seeds they gather are from heirloom plants.Cultivars of 18th,19th and early 20th century.If they were not purserved in the backyard gardens by dedicated heirloom gardeners,many of the old cultivars would not have survived.Cometition from hybrid cultivars selected for commercially important characteristics and widely promoted for as long as 50 years has largely drivin them from the pages of seed catoloques.many survive today only because they were passed down a few seeds at a time to family and friends.Heirloom vegetables are not good for large production because they cannot be harvested mechanically. But they are ideal for home gardeners.heirloom plants are also a link to our past.Funny story about a name of a heirloom "mostoller wild goose" Bean said to have been found in the craw of a goose shot in 1864 in somerset County penn.

This is a non profit org that works with people to preserve the Heirloom variaties and you might be able to get some seeds, I have gotton Zebra tomatoe seeds from them. There address is
Seed savers exchange R.R 3, Box 239, Decorah IA 52102

I hope this helps

[ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: cape chef ]
Joined Mar 13, 2001
More on heirloom seeds

Small fruited tomato collection
Colourful Tomato collection
Paste and Canning Tomato collection
Hot Pepper Sampler
Sweet Pepper Sampler
Heirloom Bean collection
Pumpkin Patch collection

[ July 09, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Actually, what I'm looking for is any ChefTalk member who has grown or is growing any heirloom veggies and what their favorites are.
Joined Jan 9, 2002
I have not yet grown any heirloom vegetables, but this spring I will. An acquaintance is sending me some heirloom pumpkin seeds (apparently the pumpkins, when ripe, change color every day for several days- kind of a rainbow look- and I'm really curious how they'll look!) and I'll also be growing heirloom watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes, and sweet corn.

Check out these sites-

Joined Dec 30, 1999

You can also request free heirloom seeds for a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) from various gardening seed exchange sites from gardeners all over the world.

Heirloom Exchange

Dave's Garden

Here are some more highly reputable heirloom sources for you:

Abundant Life Seed Foundation

Seed Savers Exchange free catalog, great for reference

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company free catalog, great for reference, great place

* Evergreen Seeds free catalog, great for reference







I am still looking for input from Cheftalk Cafe Members who have actually grown heirlooms and incorporate them in their cooking.

Joined Jan 9, 2002
Whoa! Looks like I don't need to help you out with online resources! :D:D Thanks for all the other sites! I'm always looking for more info.

This fall, I'll be able to tell you more about my heirloom garden. Can't yet though, sorry. :(
Joined May 14, 2001
You've got a lot of resources here, but I want to add one more. Basically because they are here in the hinterlands with me, they do great work, and they are big Slow Food supporters.

Seed Savers - Decorah, Iowa

They have a fantastic selection.

Also, if you want to continue having heirloom seed to use, you may want to read about a recent Supreme Court decision that will make it possible for Monsanto and their ilk to take utility patents on seed varieties. That means that is your heirloom tomato get cross pollinated by your neighbors "Round-up Ready" tomato, the seeds you save will have a Pioneer Hybrid patent, and you'll owe them money if you plant them. Swear to God.

Read more about it at this link:

The Barons Are at Court

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Cchiu - I plant Brandywine tomatoes every year, and love 'em! And - this isn't an heirloom, but they're great tomatoes - the Genovese tomato - ugly looking, with lots of crevices and bumps, but oh, the taste! 'The Cook's Garden' catalog carries them, along with lots of other imported seed. I order from them every year, and love the quality of their seeds! They're also one of the few places where you can order broccoli seed for sprouting - that hasn't been treated.

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