|Old time vegetable
varieties, for the most part, have a shorter storage life than grocery
store specimens or hybrids from the backyard plot. Therefore, you
may need to do some research to learn the particular varieties that grow
well in your area and store for a period of time. This might
especially pertain to things like potatoes, onions and winter squash.
Other favorite varieties may not have much of a shelf life and you'll just
have to enjoy them while they're in season.
the same vein, harvest times may be a bit more precise. Many heirlooms
need to be left on the plant and allowed to ripen naturally rather than
being picked a bit green and allowed to ripen on the windowsill such as
tomatoes. (It's that storage thing again). The narrow window
of ripeness plus lack of fresh storability is what probably led gardeners
of the past to perfect preservation techniques such as drying and canning.