Re[2]: [tomato] Difference of opinion

Kim Van Scoy (
Fri, 9 Oct 1998 03:23:13 -0500

While I'm sure we all agree that we grow tomatoes because we like the 
way they taste there are some other important reasons for growing 
heirlooms.  First and foremost when you grow heirlooms you can save 
your own seeds.  Done over long periods of time, you select for plants 
which do especially well in your garden, not just the ones that do well in 
controlled test beds. ( I don't know about the rest of you tomatoe lovers 
but my garden is definitely not controlled most of the time, I'm so far 
behind it doesn't bare thinking about right now).  By preserving your own
seeds you are in fact preserving our heritage and helping to preserve the 
genetic seed bank.  Lifting a line from an old Chuck Wyatt post "81% of the tomato
 varieties available in 1903 have become extinct due to the marketing tactics of the
 Petro/Chemical conglomerates that have bought out or run out the regional seedsmen".
Yeah some folks are fanatics about heirlooms (me for one) but there are some pretty
good reasons to be.  If anyone is interested in learning more about genetic diversity 
in food crops I'd be happy to make some suggestions about readings but don't want
to bore everyone as many of you know more than I.  I guess if you really do think hybrids
taste better, enjoy them, but I would suggest finding atleast one heirloom you like (and 
with the hundreds of varieties that exist it isn't hard) and trying your hand at seed saving.
I bet you'll enjoy it!