Heirloom Tomato varieties are generally known as plants that have been passed down from generation to generation. These plants offer genetic diversity that you just can’t get when you are relying on one large company to offer seeds. Every heirloom tomato plant has particular resistances and diversity that will make it hold up over the course of time. If we eliminate genetic diversity in plants they can easily all fall victim to the same diseases and pests. Heirloom plants are cultivated and passed down for generations making them essentially the kin of the farmers who produced them. Slowly but surely, as farmers pass away and different heirloom varieties go with them, so does our diversity in tomato plants. Farming is not the “hip culture” these days that it once was, however, it is slowly being recognized as an important part of life by the new generations. Not all food comes from taco bell and not all tomatoes are offered by XXXX company!
In the last 50 years we have lost a lot of family farms that produced a lot of great plants from seeds they had received from generations before. It is easy to forget that not every generation has had the internet to just click “buy now” on seeds. If you wanted a tomato to have certain characteristics in the past, you just had to make it that way—and often times it would take half of your life to do so.