What is the difference between Heirloom Seeds vs Hybrid Seeds, and what are some advantages to growing heirloom strains? Hybrid seeds are created by selecting two strains and cross-pollinating them in order to create a more vigorous plant, often times selecting for higher yield and shelf stability. Heirlooms are old-time varieties saved year after year and are prized for their superb flavor, superior nutrient density and the ability to save your own seeds.
The number one reason to grow heirlooms is the exceptional flavor. Many modern breeding programs have sacrificed taste and nutrition in order to gain shelf stability. Modern hybrids are often times bred to be picked green and gas-ripened because that is what is needed for commercial growing and shipping. Heirlooms, on the other hand have been saved for decades and even centuries because they are the best performers for home and market gardens. The ability to ship and distribute them was never a concern. This allowed flavor to and nutrition to take a front seat. What farmer could survive in a world of direct-to-market produce if their tomatoes didn’t taste as good as their neighbors?