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Uncle Goose Nursery Rhyme Blocks

What makes a toy — or a tomato — heirloom quality?

As we look out into our gardens, we might see heirloom tomatoes ripe enough to harvest. And as we look in the Uncle Goose workshop, we see heirloom quality toys ready to ship to their first homes.

But what makes a toy — or a tomato — heirloom quality? Three qualities: small batch, much loved, and sturdy enough to last for generations.

Uncle Goose blocks and toys meet all of these criteria. Our toys are sturdy and built to last. They are hand manufactured in small batches, and not a part of large scale mass production. Much loved, Uncle Goose toys get handed down from generation to generation.

And when it comes to tomatoes, the meaning of the word heirloom is only slightly different. Like heirloom toys, heirloom tomatoes are often well loved. Home gardeners often tend to their tomatoes in small batches. But only the seeds — not the actual fruits — are hardy enough to be passed down from generation to generation.

It’s only a tiny distinction. The three key qualities of a heirloom quality product remain.

However, we note that more than a few large scale mass producers of goods have latched on to the phrases “small batch” and “hand crafted.” These claims are wildly exaggerated. It’s hard to fathom a multi-national, billion-dollar entity claiming “small batch” and “hand crafted” without a whiff of irony.

But such is the state of modern marketing. The lie is bound to catch up with these companies. Customers who appreciate heirloom quality goods don’t like being deceived.

People treasure heirloom quality goods because they enjoy a more personal, less corporate touch. Whether tending to a home garden or playing with a timeless toy; we like to believe that our individual and family efforts can provide a richer and more meaningful experience than a mass-produced, corporate one.

It’s preferable to market a product honestly. Sow the seeds of truth. You’ll get a better yield.

How does your garden grow?