With the talk about Bonnie Plants not growing heirlooms next year for the chain stores we hear another reason why it might be wise to plant some heirloom tomatoes along with those hybrids. Farmer Fred Hoffman has a post today about the health benefits of growing heirlooms. According to Fred " An old academic study has received new life among heirloom vegetable gardeners. Making the rounds is a research paper conducted in 1999 and released in 2004 at the University of Texas. The conclusion of that research: supermarket vegetables available in 1950 were healthier than the ones purchased in 1999. The vegetables' nutrient value, including protein, calcium, iron and riboflavin, has declined in recent decades while farmers have been planting crops designed to improve other traits, the study says." This is actually great news since it gives us the information we need to make educated decisions about what we grow in our gardens. My garden has 12 tomato plants evenly divided between hybrids and heirlooms. I do love the taste and uniqueness of the heirlooms. Monica and I have started putting small wedges of "Black Krim", or "Lemon Boy' on crackers with cheese. I would have never thought that would work but it's delicious. Waiting for our "Green Zebras" to ripen as they are suppose to be great with cheese.
This information is just what the independent garden centers need. Since finding heirlooms will be hard at the box stores, the only place to find them will be the independent garden center.Â More and more it is becoming clearer that the box stores are homogenizing gardening. Choice is becoming more limited, not the other way around as we we're promised.
If your interested in learning more about heirloom tomato's be sure to head over to This Garden is Illegal.Â Hanna has been publishing her tomato tastings at her blog for years now. Today she weighs in on "Silvery Fir Tomato".