We love this time of year with all the fresh sweet corn and vegetables available at farm stands and farmer's markets all over Central New York. 

We've been noticing some vegetable stand signs saying 'fresh heirloom vegetables.' What is that? Well, without getting into GMO's and all that, Bonnieplants.com says:

A hybrid (regular) vegetable is created when plant breeders intentionally cross-pollinate two different varieties of a plant, aiming to produce an offspring, or hybrid, that contains the best traits of each of the parents... such as bigger size or better disease resistance...

How experts define heirlooms can vary, but typically they are at least 50 years old, and are often pre-WWII varieties. Most heirlooms come from seed that has been handed down for generations in a particular region or area, hand-selected by gardeners for a special trait. Others may have been developed by a university a long time ago (again, at least 50 years)...Many gardeners agree that most heirloom varieties boast greater flavor than that found in hybrids, especially among tomatoes.

That settles it for us. We're shopping for fresh heirloom vegetables.

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