Actually most of the "heirlooms are relatively new and new ones appear
each year. They are all open polinated and developed by amateurs rather
than big seed companies. Many came with the fall of the iron curtain
from eastern Europe, others families who had been saving thier own
seeds for a number of years, and others from individuals who did thier
own crossbreeding and selection. The members of Seed Savers Exchange
have been responsible for a large number of them.