Heirloom, Organic & Hybrid. Knowing the Difference

Ever wanted to know the difference between organic, heirloom, and hybrid? Seed companies have started marketing hybrid organic seeds. I thought to myself how is that possible? Then the more I thought about it, some one has an incredible marketing team! I need them for my businesses! They’re taking a hybrid seed and growing it organically so they can technically say it’s an “organic hybrid.” Brilliant! Except your technically being fooled. So for all your gardeners, shoppers, farmers market wanderers, and the curious. Here is your mini guide to knowing the difference.

Heirloom- The seed has been saved for a period of years, preserved, and then passed down. Heirloom seeds have been grown from earlier periods in history, usually before World War II. After 1951, hybrid seeds were introduced into commercial seed trade. Heirloom seeds have to be open-pollinated which means they can not be cross pollinated by insects, birds, wind, or other natural mechanisms. Growing plants must be maintained in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse or isolated field to keep them from being cross pollinated.

Hybrid: The seed can be made artificially by man or naturally cross pollinated by the wind, animals, and insects. Most times hybrid seeds are designed to improve characteristics of the plant including a better yield or disease resistance. Hybrid seeds are more appealing to the commercial and mass agriculture to help feed the world of over 7 billion people. Hybrids are categorized by generations, such as F1, meaning the first generation from crossing 2 parents varieties in the same species.

Organic: A seed that is grown without using any synthetic chemicals, drugs, or hormones. For products to be sold as “organic” they must be certified by one of the many certifying agencies. An organic seed must come from a growing organic plant.

Hope this guide helps the next time you choose those perfectly red ripe tomatoes at the farmers markets or when you’re flipping through all those beautiful, glossy seed catalogs this fall or early next spring as you plan your garden.

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About Farm, Foodie and Fitness

Kelly Roberts is a Healthy Living Advocate. She is the owner and CEO of Beach Pilates and Wellness and Farm Foodie Fitness. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Fueled by passion, she founded her holistic health practice, Farm Foodie Fitness. She educates and teaches her clients and the community the life changing benefits of nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Her practice consists of corporate and private clients from all across the country. Kelly is also the owner of Pilates on the Beach in Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware. She offers classes out on the beach for locals and visitors from May to September. She is a Certified Pilates instructor by world renowned Body Arts and Science International. BASI Pilates ®. For the past ten years, she has specialized in Pre and Post-Natal, athletes, rehabilitation, and clients with chronic illness. Kelly also offers private one-on-one sessions, as well as semi-private sessions. Kelly first discovered Pilates twelve years ago after a serious car accident left her with debilitating back and neck pain. She incorporates the Pilates method into her teaching and daily practice to maintain movement, a healthy lifestyle, and to live pain free. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Salisbury University with a concentration in Mass Media. Her passion for nutrition and food lead her to Alissa Cohen, where she studied to become a Certified Raw Chef. She enjoys incorporating raw foods into her diet and sharing her knowledge with her clients, friends, and family. She offers private and group cooking classes, food demos, and has also been a private chef to a number of families. Also a Certified Master Gardener, she understands the importance of fresh, local foods, and knowing where your food comes from. Kelly offers gardening knowledge, advice, and hands on training through community gardens. She also teaches elementary children the benefits of nutrition and how growing your own food through edible school yards. Kelly is also a published author; her fiction novel, "The Road to Chianti" and her summer and winter cookbooks, "Farm Foodie Fitness Homegrown.” She has been featured in Mind Body Green, Charleston Home Magazine, and many other publications. Kelly recently released her first fitness DVD "Beach Pilates and Wellness, Pilates Mat Workout." She also has a successful health, nutrition, fitness, and organic gardening blog. Make sure to check it out! www.farmfoodieandfitness.com. When Kelly is not running businesses she's chasing her two little ones. Contact Kelly to book seminars, demonstrations, book signings, or speaking engagements.

6 thoughts on “Heirloom, Organic & Hybrid. Knowing the Difference

  1. You really need to pay attention, don’t you? I’m glad you called attention to the organic hybrid! Pretty tricky! I’ll be aware! This is the first year I’ve grown all my veggies and flowers (small home garden) from heirloom seeds, and I’m so proud of myself! Ha! It took me a while to catch on, but now I’m intrigued and want to expand my selections. Debra

    • Hi Debra!
      So glad you’re gardening is going well. It’s so exciting and soothing all wrapped up in one! And it’s so great that you are getting out there and trying and growing your own food. Nothing beats going out and picking your own produce. Hope this summer brings you lots of bounty! Thanks again for stopping by! Keep me posted on how things are growing or if you find something extra special in heirloom seeds! All the best, Kelly

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