As I pull my yellow currant tomatoes and purple green beans out of my garden, I am reminded of how pleasurable heirloom varietals are to grow. Like a funny-looking mutt, at first they might seem a bit ugly or unusual, but their oddities grow on you and soon the usual ones seem dull in comparison.
I just came across a book review on this topic on NPR and thought I would share. It looks like a great book about the growth of heirloom vegetables and the cultural appeal that they hold, reminding us of tastes from the past and of a time of less uniformity in our food system.
For me, the thrill is one of preserving plants, vegetables, fruits, and tastes that might otherwise be neglected. It’s about claiming a place for vegetables that are perhaps not optimized for the national market, but are worth saving nonetheless, whether for their nutritional value, their culinary value, or purely for the sake of natural diversity. And it’s a delicious hobby.