Seeds with a Story
We like growing seeds that have a story behind them, not just ordinary run-of-the-mill seeds. Seeds with a story are open-pollinated. This means that seeds from each crop can be re-planted to get more of the very same vegetable / herb / flower the next year.
Open-pollinated seeds are often handed down for generations, because of their superior taste or higher yields or early harvest dates or other features.
Seeds with a story are sometimes newer varieties, developed through traditional breeding techniques.
One seed-with-a-story that we're excited to grow this year is the Stocky Red Roaster Pepper. (Pictured above, at the centre-top of the photo. This is a photo of a photo from Acres USA, January 2015 edition, photo by Shawn Linehan.)
These peppers are so delectable that chefs are now requesting them by name! How cool is that - that consumers know the names of varieties of top-notch vegetables?!
These peppers were developed from one hybrid variety through traditional breeding techniques. When seeds are saved from hybrid crops and re-planted, the results will be anyone's best guess - it's likely that every resulting plant will be different in some way.
Frank Morton, a well-known seed breeder, selected the above 5 varieties of peppers from planting one packet of hybrid pepper seed (these were the best 5 from the multiple types of peppers that resulted from the hybrid). It took 5 generations to get stabilized, open-pollinated, new varieties of peppers.
Seed breeders and seed savers have the opportunity to select seeds according to whichever traits they choose. We favour the ones that have extra-delicious flavour, as well as healthy, disease-free plants. Factors like 'shipping well for long distances' are not our priority, as more important factors like superior flavour are usually the trade-off.
We choose to grow mostly open-pollinated and heirloom varieties of vegetables at Bee Loved Gardens. We do this because we enjoy saving our own seed from some crops, and we particularly enjoy the extra flavour of these varieties.
The next time you savour an extra-tasty vegetable, you can thank seed breeders and savers! We appreciate the folks who spend years saving and/or developing deliciousnss for everyone to enjoy!