All About Heirloom Vegetables

Heirlooms are known for their unique colors, rich flavors, and odd shapes. Grown from seed that has been around for at least 50 years, heirloom vegetables are open-pollinated, which means they’re pollinated by insects or wind (without help from humans). Many gardeners swear that heirlooms boast the best flavor in the garden, especially when it comes to tomatoes. Whether you’re already an heirloom fan or just looking to find out more about these garden treasures, we’ve got the information you’re looking for…and more.

Scores of Heirlooms to Choose From

Bonnie offers over 60 heirloom vegetable varieties to fill your garden. Browse our Heirloom Varieties page for more details on everything from artichokes to watermelons — including, of course, tomatoes!

Heirloom Information Worth Knowing

Heirloom Vegetable Growing Tips

While raising a crop of heirloom vegetables isn’t all that different from growing hybrids, there are some special things to consider. Discover what you need to know to grow a bountiful heirloom harvest.

Stories Behind Heirloom Vegetable Names

Cherokee Purple? Blue Hubbard? If you’re thinking there must be some interesting tales behind many of these intriguing heirloom vegetable names, you’re right. We’ve got the dirt on six of your favorites.

Heirloom vs. Hybrid vs. GMO

There’s a lot of confusion out there regarding these three terms, especially when it comes to tomatoes. Our simple guide sorts it out for you. (Note: Every plant Bonnie sells is non-GMO.)

Why I Love Heirloom Tomatoes

Garden blogger Dee Nash, author of The 20-30 Something Garden Guide, reveals why heirloom tomatoes hold a special place in her heart — and on her plate.

5 Excellent Heirloom Vegetable Books

This collection of great reads is filled with helpful tips, little known facts, gorgeous images, and mouth-watering recipes. Come see what LaManda Joy, author of Start a Community Food Garden: The Essential Handbook, has on her bookshelf!

Heirloom Tomato 4x4 Garden

Variety is the spice of life, so why not spice up your tomato garden with a selection of heirloom tomato varieties? In this simple garden plan, we’ll show you what to plant and where.

10 Tantalizing Recipes for Your
Heirloom Tomato Harvest


Heirloom Tomato Avocado Salad

While the flavor of cumin is often instantly recognizable, ground coriander (ground from the seeds of cilantro plants) is more subtle. It adds a mild lemon flavor to dishes like this simple, sophisticated salad.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese

Burrata is a ball of fresh mozzarella filled with a flavorful mixture of fresh mozzarella pieces and cream. This recipe boasts a small ingredient list, but it's big on flavor!

Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon, and Shrimp Salad

Tomatoes and watermelon may seem like an unlikely pairing, but these summer favorites taste delicious together. The honey-balsamic dressing enhances the sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fried Goat Cheese

Crisp, fresh greens are served with a savory twist: pan-fried panko-coated goat cheese rounds. Topped with Sherry-Walnut Dressing, this is the salad you’ll want to serve at your next dinner gathering.

Side Dishes

Grilled Corn and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Ideal for picnics and barbecues, this vibrant dish features grilled sweet summer corn combined with chopped heirloom tomatoes and tossed with an herbed vinaigrette.

Heirloom Tomatoes with Buttermilk Dressing

The perfect blend of creamy and tangy, this buttermilk dressing turns already-tasty fresh heirloom tomatoes into a delicious treat you'll want to prepare again and again.

Heirloom Tomatoes au Gratin

Sliced heirloom tomatoes are shingled in a baking dish and topped with a mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs, herbs, and grated cheese — the ultimate summer comfort food!

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fresh Basil

This cool, refreshing summer soup makes the best of a big, gorgeous bounty of tomatoes. When your harvest is just beginning or ending, simply divide the recipe in half.


Thai Beef Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Thinly sliced, seasoned grilled beef, crisp chopped romaine, and wedges of flavorful heirloom tomatoes, all tossed in a spicy Thai dressing — just the thing for a summertime dinner out on the deck.

Heirloom Tomato Squash Tart

Summer garden buddies tomatoes and squash star together in this tasty pastry. Pair with a fresh salad for a simple lunch, or with soup for a light supper. Makes a wonderful brunch dish, too!