Thursday, August 11, 2011

"I want my Grandmother's vegetables!"

or "What happens when you fiddle around with Nature".  Somehow, I wasn't really surprised when I read an article today that reported that the handful of green beans my mother was eating in 1950 had 43% more calcium than the handful of green beans I am eating today.  And less flavor, apparently.  (I had not yet appeared on the earth to eat said green beans.)  All those carefully developed high-production crops have given us lots and lots of bland, less nutritious food. 

I am completely flummoxed by our (as a society) inability to catch on to the "more is not more" reality of food, clothing, gadgets, appliances, cars, you name it.  I tell you, if everyone was forced to live with all their trash, you'd see a new dawning of the "use it up, wear it out, make it do" motto.  Imagine a world where mothers couldn't toss disposable diapers into the trash.  There would be quite a few cloth diapers hanging on the line.  We are such a throw-away country, that it's not going to be easy to turn it in the right direction.

So, hurray for us'ns who plant gardens with heritage, non-hybrid vegetables.  And hurray for all those mothers who suck it up and wash diapers. 

I will now get off my soapbox and eat my heritage beans (am currently enjoying a large crop of Navajo Trail of Tears).  What heritage and non-hybrid seeds have you planted in your gardens with success?


  1. I know I'm planting a heritage bean every year, because I save the seeds! Can't remember the name over the years...I just eat them :-)

  2. Dr Momi - That is the best way to keep it going! And frugal to boot!

  3. hooray for you!put in on the front page,write it on the bathroom walls----bathrooms--omg,gotta go back to momma peas a bidet--European bathroom--oh that can't be it,its not homemade.Now see what they did lol

  4. I try really hard to plant only heirloom (non-hybrid) seeds because I truly believe they provide us with more nutrients than the hybridized seeds. These days, we all need all the nutrition we can get!

  5. I would like to point out that there are many Americans who only WANT bland vegetables. They have it in their head all vegetables taste bad so make them bland and soak them in salt and fat. I knew a woman who was 36 and never had a fresh bean in her life. She thought beans needed to taste like those water logged salt mines that come in a can.

  6. Judy - You know, I thought of that, too!

    Mama Pea - It goes without saying that your garden is an heirloom garden. I wonder if we could form an heirloom seed swap? Whaddya think?

  7. The nutrition content of vegetables has been in decline every year. It's not only the hybrids, but also the soil, which on these megafarms is really DEAD. Years of over-production, without putting back in to the soil (except for the big 3)has depleted the trace minerals so important to whatever grows in it (and US).
    I try to raise mainly heirlooms, but do love my Mokum Carrots and Packman Broccoli. Hybrids-yes, but at least my soil is packed full of life.
    Excellent post!!

  8. We picked up some sweet corn this week. I asked the little ole codger if it was good. He said, "well ye probably never tasted corn straight of the cob, eh?"

    I asked for an ear right on the spot. Think I made a new friend that day!

    You are so right. So sad that alot of my own family wouldn't dream of walking out to my garden, knocking the dust off a cherry tomato and popping it into their mouth. I suppose they think what they buy in the store is safer and cleaner. All I can say to that is, Wow!

  9. Mine are pretty much all heritage/heirloom types... that's why my garden is wracked with disease and bugs, but hey... it's worth it I guess! :)

  10. Sue - I guess we have the advantage with our small farms/gardens. Especially those of us with livestock. My soil is ALIVE! I may try Mokum Carrots - where do you get your seed?

    APG - Good for you! Now all you have to do is train your dogs like Jane's and he'll really think you're special! My family is the same, vis a vis "clean" vegetables. I have probably consumed more dirt than any of 'em and I'm still standing!

    Erin - I think that the bugs, weather and everything else has struck both hybrid and heritage alike this year. It's been awful! Don't give up!