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Great story! Greg Pappenfus should consider sending some of his seeds to the Seed Savers Exchange. Their mission is to preserve heirloom seeds by sharing them with other growers who will keep the strain growing.
I too have saved tomato seeds from year to year. They came via my great-aunt Bibiana from her husband, whom we always called Uncle Rock. Originally brought from Italy in the early 1900s, the plants produce a luscious, bright red, meaty tomato very late in the season. My solution to continuing their survival is to share or trade plants every spring with friends and family. By now, nearly two dozen people continue the tradition of the tomato I call "Uncle Rock's Red." Mr. Pappenfus, I'll trade for one of yours too!
The Pappenfus family could find their counterparts with bacon and lettuce traditions...
..and an inspiration to gardeners!
The U of M also has a heritage seed group on the campus near the State Farm Grounds that would probably love to have some of these seeds.
Unfortunately, this/that generation(s) are disappearing. And along with those generations, the traditions are going too. We need to teach our kids the value of this stuff. Down with the garden center varieties. Even the "Mister Stripy" type heirloom tomatos at the garden center are becoming old hat.
My family has one we have handed down as well We are also German. I will trade you one of your for one of mine.
Wilfrid moved his family to Texas in the early 50s. My husband is his son, and Greg's first cousin. We hope to continue the "putzing" through the Texas heat and ensure the continuation through still another generation...our daughter is ready for the challenge, and then maybe her little ones will keep them going one more round.
This story should inspire all families to find a special tradition, or create one where none presently exists.
There is a group in North East Iowa who specializes in saving Heirloom seeds, which would be a great place to give some of these seeds to so that they can be kept available for future generations.
I have some of the seeds and a week old plant i got from my aunt who got it from her grandmas neighbor up in minnesota. i haven't put it in the ground but the plant looks good.
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