Heirloom varieties are seeds that have been saved from generation to generation.  They are open pollinated meaning that they rely on natural pollination from wind and insects.  Usually varieties referred to as heirloom have been around for more than 50 years and offer a wonderful history in the names and flavors that continually provide dependable quality season after season.  The seed from heirloom plants can be saved at the end of the season to be used again the next year.