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If you’ve ever browsed the seed section of your local grocery or home improvement store, you’ve probably encountered the term “heirloom seeds.” Seeds can come in a variety of options, including regular, organic and heirloom.

The phrase “heirloom seeds” refers to seeds for plant varieties that have been saved, grown and passed down for decades or even centuries. Commonly, heirloom plants were already being grown before World War II. So the tomatoes that your great-great-grandmother was growing in her garden, might be the same variety that you are growing in your container garden on your balcony today.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Benefits of Heirloom Plants

One of the great things about heirloom seeds and plants is the beautiful variety in shapes and colors. If you go to the produce section of most grocery stores in the summer, you can find heirloom produce. Heirloom tomatoes, for example, could be deep purple, have interesting ridges or even stripes. If you are looking to add rich history and interesting varieties to your harvest, heirlooms are a great way to go.

Where to buy Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds are becoming more widely available, so it’s not uncommon to find them in your local grocery store or home improvement store. If you live in a community with many avid gardeners, you might even find a historic plant sale that could include heirloom plants and seeds from within your own community.

There are also several websites where you can purchase heirloom seeds, including Seed Savers ExchangeBaker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Burpee.