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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.

In 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.

Home Definition History Why Grow?
Old vs. New Growing Tips Harvest & Storage Saving Seed
Sampling Public Gardens Seed Exchanges Seed Companies Bibliography