An heirloom is a plant that has been passed down from generation to generation in its purest form and has never been tampered with or hybridized. Like animals facing extinction, heirloom plants can easily disappear without the proper growing conditions.
Encourage the longevity of heirloom vegetables, like pumpkins and squash, by saving their seeds with this simple step-by-step guide from Mac Condill of the Great Pumpkin Patch.
1. Cut open vegetable. Dig out seeds with hands.
2. Rinse seeds in bowl of water. Blot seeds dry on paper towel.
3. Spread seeds out to dry in cardboard box for 2 to 3 weeks.
4. Place dried seeds in jar; label with seed name and location and time harvested. Store in a dry location, out of extreme heat and cold, for up to 5 or 6 years.