Updated: Sep 9, 2021
Summer squash is one of those vegetables that connects me to people of the past. To me it's old fashioned, and everyone grew it. So, when I hold an historical pattypan, like the Yellow Scallop, I know it's the same variety another woman was holding 100 years ago. I can picture her at the kitchen table with friends, able to make a quick meal, with one of the most diverse vegetables in the world. Throw it into a casserole and your done. It's not just that, most heirlooms are saved for flavor. So when I meet a new, old variety. I know there's something special about it. It's this connection to our past that makes heritage vegetables so important to me. It's a moment to reflect on people no longer here, how far we've come, and what we need to go back to. It's been estimated that we've lost 93% of our seed diversity in the last century. Our biodiversity has suffered for gains in factories and cement. Not all of our advancements did harm. However, with the climate changing, we may have lost some special variety that takes the heat, takes the cold, and will thrive in a hard season. We are now looking to the home gardener, whose family got a pack of seeds 100 years ago, liked it so much they saved the seeds, and passed them down like an heirloom; These are the new garden heroes that can bring some lost varieties back. I like to think we can accomplish this. It's my hope if you, or someone you knows, saves an old family seed, you will send in your story and seeds to me, so I can bring it back to other gardeners. I prefer to save the underdog seeds, because we have enough big companies that are focused on profit, over our future. Please share this with everyone you know, and let's bring a hidden variety back to life. I can't wait to hear from more of you.