I love seeds. I have been addicted to them since I was a kid. My dad used to give me a tiny space in his garden where I planted radishes, lettuce, beans, peas, tomatoes. And they grew! It was like a miracle. I was also hooked on different varieties. Well, at that time I went for colour and shape. I did not care about the flavor. They taste the same anyway. But yellow tomatoes — WoW. Let me add here that it was in early 80s, the dark times of communism, where only red tomatoes had a chance, ones bred by the Socialistic Community of the Communistic Gardening Enthusiasts (or something like that). Old varieties were not in fashion. Trading “strange” shapes and colours felt like we are doing our part in the dissident movement to crack the stupid regime. The truth is that the exciting veg seeds we always got from our “socialist brothers”. I remember tomato seeds from Hungary or interesting squash brought over by students from Vietnam.
You might think the situation has changed. Well, it has. 20 years after the Communist Bloc collapsed, we are members of the EU, we pay with Euros and life is sweet. Except the seeds. EU has a list of permitted varieties. Most of them are hybrids. Yes you can get pear shaped, tiny yellow tomatoes. The problem is that they have no taste. Like, none. Zero. The “superb” tomato varieties like “Tornado” will withstand a nuclear attack, but will not find a place on my plate. People do not know what heirlooms are and they have no access to them. It is illegal! I feel the same way as when I was a kid. Doing something “underground”. I really do believe in heirloom varieties so much that I break the law. I don’t think the law will change. People do not care. They do not know. I feel that in Slovakia I am the only one using heirloom seeds. I have to get them from the USA during my visits or one year I have ordered them through eBay. This year I was especially lucky. For my birthday my wife surprised me with a wide selection of heirloom seeds: different corn, tomatoes, beets, watermelon, etc. Does she know that we are going to live on the shady side?