Heirloom vegetables are vintage varieties preserved by passing down seed through generations.
Generally 50 to 100 years old, heirlooms are always open pollinated and usually breed true to type. They often are selected for flavor potential and quality.
Prior to the development of commercial farming, heirlooms held a prominent place on the family farm. Today many of these old-time favorites are again finding a place at consumer’s tables, local farmers’ markets and roadside stands.