Where Did My Favorite Heirloom Seeds Go?
We often get phone calls and emails concerning a customer’s favorite variety of heirloom seed and why it is not offered on the website or catalog this year. There are several reasons that items come and go. Some will be back in a year or two, while unfortunately, others will probably not return.
Every variety that we offer is grown for us and undergoes a lot of scrutiny, inspection and quality selection. Established standards are reviewed for each variety to ensure that the crop is growing true to type, both in physical characteristics and fruit production. We look at many more things than just the fruit production, however. Other characteristics such as germination time, leaf shape, blossom color and appearance, specific fruit shape, color and of course flavor all play a part in the selection process. If a variety does not meet our standards, it is pulled and put into the selection process, meaning it will be grown out and selected for the physical characteristics, traits, and flavors that distinguish that particular heirloom variety. This selection process can take anywhere from 2 to 10 years. If it is determined that the selection process will take too long or does not have a good chance of success, a new source of seed is needed.
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Stephen Scott is co-owner of Terroir Seeds, a family owned and operated heirloom seed company that focuses on the "Cycle of Terroir"- from the soil, to the seed, to the food you eat, providing education and information on all phases of the cycle.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA