Looking for Mid-Atlantic/regional heirloom group

sujiwan_gwAugust 5, 2004

I saw the refence to a Kentucky seedsaver's group posted earlier. I was wondering if there are any groups that are *devoted to heirlooms* that thrive in the peculiar climate of the Mid-Atlantic (muggy, buggy, changeable).

I guess that would be parts of NVA, MD, DEL? Not sure where else shares this type of climate.

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I guess that would be parts of NVA, MD, DEL? Not sure where else shares this type of climate.

The whole NE shares that same climate moving into the mid atlantic regions of PA, OH, IL, IN, IA, etc.

The Kentucky goup really is concentrating on Appalachian heirloom varieties.

There is no such large concentration of regional heirlooms here in the NE and into the mid atlantic states primarily b/c of earlier migration patterns.

One organization you might check out is the Garden State Heirloom Seed Society started by Joe Cavanaugh many years ago. I've given the link below.

But Joe, whom I've known for years, got and gets many of his varieties thru SSE, and SSE is indeed another option for you. Joe and others have also concentrated on fiding NJ and nearby heirlooms as well, but almost all are also listed at SSE.

The problem is that Joe's group, as far as I know deals primarily with heirloom tomatoes, but you'd have to check that out yourself.

I honestly don't know of another group that I can recommend to you outside of SSE that deals with ALL heirloom veggies , for the regions you specify.

But why don't you check out the Garden State group first and see if it meets your needs.

Are you looking primatily for seed sources, or information on heirloom varieties native to the area specified, or something else?

I just am not that clear on what your needs are.


Here is a link that might be useful: Garden State Heirloom Seed Society

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 10:34AM
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Thank you for your responses and active participation on Garden Web!

I was hoping there was a a consolidation of knowledge about particular varieties of produce that might have been created with my area in mind. I was thinking that many varieties sound very good, but might not do as well outside their microcosm, so to speak.

I figure that these varieties would have been tested by time and would prove to grow optimally in areas with certain Ph, heating/cooling degree days, etc. I think that perhaps that would be quite different in areas close to the muggy Eastern seaboard and those landlocked-like IO and IN.

But, I am new to this concept of heirlooms for the most part. Those heirlooms I have heard of have been a few offered at specialty farmer's markets, are usually tomatoes, may have been varieties from other states , yet grow perfectly well.
I'd like to find to find out which veg/fruits would really like my area and do the best (Not counting the hybridized things which I can find lists of from Ag Extension).


    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 1:47PM
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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

The Mid Atlantic is generally considered..... Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Yor, New Jersey, Delaware.... and I think that's it....... New England is Conneticut on up...... South is Virginia on down.......WEst is OHio on out..... etc. :)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 1:40AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)


Just FYI, what had been Kentucky Seed Savers is now called the Appalachian Heirloom Seed Conservancy, both to reflect it's broader mission (which is to preserve the heirloom food plants and sustainable agricultural practices of central Appalachia), and to prevent any confusion over its relationship with Seed Savers Exchange.

There are several other things you can do, in addtion to some of the suggestions above. First, if you are not already a member, you should join SSE. There are then several things you can do.

First, although it's a time-consuming job, actually read all the listings for veggie types that interest you. You'll often discover that they originated in your region, or are grown by other members from that region. I uncovered many Kentucky heirlooms that way when I first started specializing in them.

Second, look at the member data. There are, for instance, a dozen listed members from Maryland. If you contact them about what you are looking for they might have suggestions to offer, even if they're not growing those particular varieties themselves.

Keep in mind, too, that just because a variety didn't originate in your region doesn't mean it won't thrive there. And the best source of information about those varieties is other growers in the region.

Another approach is to post your requirements on the specific forums that apply here at GW. For instance, if your looking for tomatoes, try the Tomato Growing forum. If peppers interest you, post on the Hot Pepper forum. Or even on the Vegetable Growing forum. Lot's of well-informed folks post on each of them, and I have no doubt you can find out about varieties you want from them.

Also keep in mind that "muggy, buggy, and variable" refers to a good part of the east coast, and many inland areas as well. Virginia and the Carolinas, for example, have pretty much the same conditions as Maryland; as do New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. And both Kentucky and Tennesse can be described a lot of ways, but dry, bug free, and consistent are not among them.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2004 at 11:21AM
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