What are heirloom seeds?

Heirloom means that the plant variety has a documented history of being passed down within a family or community, must be open pollinated (meaning the plant was pollinated by insects, birds, wind, or other natural factors), and “breed true” (meaning that the seeds will keep its original traits generation after generation). Therefore, you can save seeds from heirloom plants year after year. 

Learn more at:

https://www.seedsavers.org/heirloom-seeds

https://blog.seedsavers.org/blog/open-pollinated-heirloom-and-hybrid-seeds

What are hybrid seeds?

Hybrid means that the plant variety has been purposefully created for specific traits through cross pollination of two different varieties by human intervention. Typically, you will see hybrid varieties labeled as ‘F1’. Hybrid plants often have higher yields, faster growth, improved disease resistance, and improved flavor. However, you cannot harvest seeds from a hybrid plant because the seeds are genetically unstable and will not have the same exact traits as the hybrid. Instead the seed may show characteristics of one of the parent plants that was used to create the hybrid. You will have to repurchase seeds every year. 

Learn more at:

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/blogs/garden-wisdom/hybrid-seeds-exactly

What are GMO seeds?

GMO means that the plant variety has been created for specific traits through technology, where a specific set of DNA is inserted into plant cells. Similar to hybrid plants, GMO plants can have higher yields, faster growth, improved disease resistance, and improved flavor. 

Learn more at:

https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/gm-plants/what-is-gm-and-how-is-it-done/

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/blogs/garden-wisdom/genetically-engineered-seeds