The best part of growing heirloom seeds is sharing them with others. For Grandma Ausilio Riccelli, her treasure was a red pepper grown by her mother and passed on to her children and grandchildren. Even though the pepper is delicious and versatile, she grew this vegetable because it was her heritage. Heirloom plants are rooted in gardeners who valued what they grew so much that they preserved the seeds and passed them on to be grown, harvested and regrown for many years.
To connect with a community of heirloom gardeners, look for a local seed-saving group or join Seed Savers Exchange. Swap seeds, growing tips, and, of course, stories! Check out three great plants to get a heirloom garden started below.