Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables

Heirloom fruits and vegetables are those that have been preserved in families and communities over long periods of time. They different from modern varieties in two ways. They are open-pollinated rather than hybridized. That is, the same plant will be grown from seed each season, which is not the case with hybrid varieties. Second, they are selected and grown for taste, texture, and aroma rather than size, appearance, or ease of production. Appalachia has a long history of heirloom varieties, many of which are better adapted to the mountain environment. Particularly important are the rich varieties of beans, tomatoes, corn, apples, squash and pumpkins. At a time when supermarkets offer only a few varieties of any food, Appalachian farmers are preserving a priceless biological heritage for the discriminating shopper.

Multimedia:

Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Related Posts

  • Burley TobaccoBurley Tobacco For over 100 years burley tobacco has been an important cash crop in western North Carolina as well as in other areas of Appalachia. The large, weather-beaten, rough-timbered tobacco […]
  • Mary Cornwell, 1989Mary Cornwell, 1989 Mary Cornwell receives 1989 Mountain Heritage Award Mary Cornwell of Waynesville, creator of the North Carolina State Fair’s Village of Yesteryear and founder of the Museum of North […]
  • Haywood County CommunitiesHaywood County Communities Where have we been? Where are we now? Where are we going? Major changes have taken place over the last one hundred years. Some communities have grow, some have stayed the same, and some […]
  • DulcimersDulcimers Dulcimers come in two versions. The so-called “mountain dulcimer” looks like a skinny fiddle with 3 to 6 strings, sits across the player’s lap, and is plucked with the fingers. The other […]
  • Mountain Heritage Award WinnersMountain Heritage Award Winners   Western Carolina University created the Mountain Heritage Award in 1976.  According to then Chancellor, H.F. Robinson, the award recognizes “outstanding contributions to the […]