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An heirloom is a cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but which is not used in modern large-scale agriculture. Many heirloom vegetables have kept their traits through open pollination. Heirloom seeds are grown in kitchen gardens because of their delicious taste, stunning color or other unique traits. You will not find many heirlooms in supermarkets for a number of reasons including shipping or storage issues or challenges farming certain varieties on a commercial scale.