Am I the only one who did not know this?

This is definitely what I am talking about when I say I am "learnin' stuff."

After reading that the Red Brandywine Tomato plants I received at the Chicago Botanic Garden were 'heirloom', which means 'can be reproduced from own seeds', I was a little confused. I knew that the tomato seedlings I bought from the local garden center were 'hyrbids' as the plastic labels that surrounded their peat cups told me so. What I did not know was what I read when I peeked into Wikipedia for more information:

...most authorities agree that heirlooms, by definition, must be open-pollinated. They may also be open pollinated varieties that were bred and stabilized using classic breeding practices. While there are no genetically modified tomatoes available for commercial or home use, it is generally agreed that no genetically modified organisms can be considered heirloom cultivars. Another important point of discussion is that without the ongoing growing and storage of heirloom plants, the seed companies and the government will control all seed distribution. Most, if not all, hybrid plants, if regrown, will not be the same as the original hybrid plant, thus insuring the dependency on seed distributors for future crops. (Emphasis mine.)

"the seed companies and the government will control all seed distribution" sounds frightening. What is gained by this? And, most importantly, what is lost?

What was planted in the White House garden?

It all leads to more questions for me. More stuff to learn.