Organic: Seeds/plants grown using organic methods.
Conventional: Seed not certified organic, but plant grown organically here.
Open Pollinated: Open-pollinated seed is seed produced as a result of natural pollination (wind, insects…) as opposed to hybrid seed produced as a result of controlled pollination.
Hybrid: A cross between two open pollinated parent plants selected for desired characteristics.
Cross pollination: Occurs when the genes from two or more plants mix.
The pollen from a nearby tomato or pepper may be carried to a blossom by an insect. If pollination occurs the next generation will result in a variable mix. Cucumbers and squash are very vulnerable. Carrots cross pollinate with Queen Anne’s lace here in the Willamette Valley but in areas with no Queen Anne’s lace it’s not an issue. However, only let one carrot variety bloom and produce seed per season.
Heirloom: Open pollinated varieties in existence for at least fifty years. An heirloom may also be cultivated by a particular family or it may be a regional favorite. There is almost always something about the variety that has endeared it to gardeners or growers, whether flavor, fruit quality or ability to withstand the climate of a particular area.
Indeterminate: Those varieties that tend to vine like peas, beans, some squash, melons, tomatoes…they will keep producing for a long period and have a vining growth habit.
Determinate: Selected for a smaller growth habit (bush-like) which results in earlier fruit set but usually not a long production period. Some tomatoes, like Oregon Spring and Roma are determinate.