How many times do we read a description in a seed catalog, order the seeds, and then find ourselves disappointed with the results? Our Colorado climate and soil conditions make for some challenging gardening, and varieties that thrive in other parts of the country just don’t do as well here.

Thankfully, we have a state university providing us with research-based information especially suited to our high and dry gardens. From 2004 through 2008, CSU trialed an assortment of potential commercial crops, comparing varieties to discover which, if any, do well here. The results are available on their website under the heading “The Rocky Mountain Small Organic Farm Project.”


Q: What’s the difference between hybrid, heirloom, vintage, and heritage plants? I see these terms used in gardening catalogs and articles, but I have no idea what they mean.

A: Coming across these terms can be confusing to anyone. They are used in describing all types of plants, but you’ve probably noticed them most often used when referring to vegetable varieties. Let’s see if we can provide some clear definitions. (more…)