Maybe you have a precious family heirloom in your home, a quilt made by your grandmother, candlesticks that sit on the table every holiday season… Well, you might not have known it, but you can grow heirlooms right in your own garden! Heirloom plants aren't that different from those treasures in the attic, either. Heirloom seeds are also gifts from our ancestors, as they revive older varieties of fruits and vegetables that have fallen by the wayside due to mass production of produce. If you want to add some history and good taste to your home-grown foods, take a look at these unique heirloom varieties that are a great place to start!
- Turkey Craw Beans
These brown and white speckled beauties make a delicious side to any meal, and they couldn't be easier to grow. They are tolerant of hot and cold temperatures, and grow pretty much anywhere in the continental US. With their mild, nutty flavor, they make the perfect addition to heart soups and chili. Even the pickiest of kids won't turn their nose up at these fun beans!
- Crosby Egyptian Beets
Beets are not only easy to grow, but they give you the most bang for your buck with delicious roots and greens! This particular variety was widely popular when it was introduced from Germany in the 1880s. Sweet and hearty, these plants really can't be beat!
- Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
Who doesn't love a refreshing slice of tomato on a hot summer day? Well if you haven't tried Cherokee Purples, you don't know what you're missing! The deep, complex flavour of these dusky pink fruits is far and away from a grocery store tomato. Originally developed in Tennessee, this variety grows well anywhere with full sunlight. These tomatoes are one of the most popular heirloom varieties out there, so make sure to grab your seeds early in the season.
Each of these three plants grows unique and tasty produce, but don't take our word for it. When it comes to these heirlooms, tasting really is believing. Try one, or all of them, out for yourself this year!