The ins and outs of pollination and the importance of saving seeds.
Once upon a time, farmers and gardeners ensured their next year’s crops by always saving seed from the previous harvest. Crop plants were exclusively open pollinated; they had evolved to fit into local ecosystems over generations, and had been adapted by farmers for reliable performance over many years. Individual plants from these varieties might vary considerably, but the strain as a whole would “come true” from the seed collected. Open-pollinated heirloom varieties developed resistance to local pests and diseases and were well adapted to the local climate.