Gardening Vivian | 07 Apr 2010 09:13 pm

Organic Heirloom Tomato Seeds

For the ultimate taste treat, tomato lovers everywhere truly enjoy the indulgence of a freshly harvested heirloom tomato. For people who truly love tomatoes, heirloom varieties are usually considered the absolute best of the best.

Modern agricultural techniques have given us the reality of walking down the produce section aisles of almost any supermarket and finding several varieties of tomatoes from which to choose almost every single day of the year. These picture perfect beauties were bred to look their uniform best and stay fresh on the shelves for a very long time but, somewhere along the road to long-lasting visual perfection, the flavor was lost.

Heirloom tomatoes, however, are grown from cultivars in existence before the popularity of hybridization, which is the breeding technique that locks in the uniform color, shape, and size and ensures the longest possible shelf life. Unfortunately, in this quest for uniformity and longevity, the much-desired flavor was bred out.

To grow your own succulent heirloom treasures, be sure to start with organic heirloom tomato seeds. The organic designation means there have been no chemical or synthetic additives used in growing the “parent” tomato plant.

The official organic designation varies from one governing body to the next but using organic heirloom tomato seeds, whatever organic means in your area, is the best way to ensure your tomatoes will retain as much of the true and original character of the tomato as possible.

The term organic varies from one garden to the next and so does the term heirloom, but only to a small extent. The point of controversy is how old the cultivar (ancestor plant) has to be in order to earn the heirloom designation.

Purists insist that using only organic heirloom tomato seeds harvested from cultivars that have been in existence and remained true to the species for at least 100 years can be classified as heirloom.

Less rigid in technicalities are the gardeners who claim the name heirloom for organic heirloom tomato seeds harvested from plants that can be traced for at least 50 years.

Still other tomato aficionados claim it was the advent of industrial agriculture, with its mass hybridizing practices, that brought about the end to the “real” tomato. These gardeners insist that organic heirloom tomato seeds are those harvested from plants growing before 1945, or about the same time World War II ended.

Whether it was 50, 60, or even 100 years ago, the organic heirloom tomato seeds you plant in your garden today are likely to be beautiful in their own unique way. One taste of these succulent delights, however, will only reinforce the notion that beauty really is only skin deep.

Tracy Ballisager is stay at home mum. To read more about gardening tips and idea go to

Comments are closed.