What is the difference between open pollinated, heirloom and hybrid seeds?

Each type of seed has a special place in your garden. Most of our seeds are mostly open pollinated, a few heirloom and a couple of hybrids. So what is the difference between them?

Open pollinated seeds a non-hybrid type of seed that can reproduce itself to have similar traits the parent plant from one generation to the next. If you are saving the seeds, as long as pollen is not shared between two varieties of the same species, the seeds should remain true to type year after year.

Heirloom seeds have been grown for a long time, often for generations. They are known for staying the same when you plant them, producing plants that look and taste like the ones before. These seeds have historical and cultural importance, come in different varieties, and are loved for their great flavours. They are good for saving seeds for the future and can adapt to local conditions. Heirloom seeds are not always as productive or disease-resistant as modern seeds made by mixing different plant types, but they are valued for their history and special qualities. They are important for preserving plant diversity and history.

Hybrid seeds are special plant seeds created by crossing two different plant varieties. They are designed to have certain desirable traits, like high yield or disease resistance. When you plant hybrid seeds, the resulting plants might not be the same as the parent plants. Hybrid seeds are often used in commercial farming for their consistent qualities, even though they don't produce offspring that are identical to the parent plants. Hybrid seeds are not for saving.