Why Do You Need Survival Seeds?
It is no secret that the world seems to be undergoing a period of economic and societal instability. Few people feel as secure about the future as they did previously, and the proliferation of terrorist attacks has definitely affected people. Many families now have stockpiles of food in their basements ‘just in case’. However, these supplies are finite, and once they give out, the problem of hunger will arise.
Regardless that there is no actual survival emergency right at the moment, this is the time to start preparing for one. If you are an experienced gardener, you will only need to prepare your garden beds at the appropriate time. However, if you are new to gardening, take some time to learn how to prepare the ground, when to plant, and watering and fertilizing needs. Gaining experience in gardening will help to make your survival seed garden more productive.
Survival seeds can be anyone’s insurance against future troubles. These seeds are open pollinated seeds, also called heirloom seeds, and they can be depended upon to provide reliable produce. Seeds from hybrid plants are generally useless. Oftentimes, the seed is just sterile, and it is the way in which a hybrid is developed that causes this. A hybrid is the result of a cross pollination between two similar plants, a cross between two types of squash. The hybrid is often endowed with positive features such as higher productivity or the ability to withstand certain diseases. Unfortunately, the seed produced by hybrids will not produce the parent plant again – hybrid seeds do not breed true; the results are usually disappointing.
When You Buy Your Survival Seeds
There are several ways that you can purchase your survival seeds. There are many companies that sell vegetable seeds, and many of them carry both heirloom and hybrid varieties. It is quite possible to go through either an online or physical catalog and pick out the open-pollinated seeds that you want.
It might be much easier, however, to avail yourself of one of the seed companies that specialize in heirloom survival seeds. The seeds offered by these companies are guaranteed to be open pollinated, so that you can save the seeds from year to year – there will be no need to buy new seeds every spring. Another benefit of purchasing from a survival seed company is that many of their seeds come from small farmers in the United States, so you will also be supporting family farming when you use survival seeds.
Many survival seed companies sell a survival garden or non hybrid seeds package that will allow you to plant up to an acre of food. The seeds are often meant to be stored for a time of actual emergency, so if you are not planning to start your survival garden immediately, make certain that the seeds are packaged in such a way that will maintain their viability. Seeds that have been dried down to the “optimum moisture content”, as established by the Seed Storage Lab, will not be damaged by freezing. They will need to be packaged in glass, mylar, or metal, so that moisture will not transfer. (Plastic is open-celled and will in time transfer moisture.) Packaged and frozen this way, your seeds will last 50 years with good germination.
Growing Your First Garden
When you switch to survival seeds for your garden, you will probably see less productivity than you experienced with hybrids. This can be offset by planting a bit more garden, and taking a little more care with the plants. You will find, however, that the flavor of the fruits and vegetables from the survival seeds will be excellent. The taste will be intense and full-bodied. Your survival seed tomatoes will taste like tomatoes, rather than like cardboard. As most vegetables take different times to mature, you will be able to have fresh produce from your garden from spring until autumn.
It is likely that your ‘victory garden’ will produce too much food to be consumed immediately, so you should plan on preserving some of the harvest. There are several ways to do this, and you can freeze, can, or dehydrate most of the vegetables for survival food. Some will store well, like winter squash and onions, and a root cellar will help keep beets, carrots, and parsnips fresh for months.
However, before you preserve or eat all of your harvest, remember to save some of the seeds for next year’s use. Some preparation is necessary, so be sure that you understand how to make sure that your saved seed will be viable for the next season’s planting.
How To Save Seed
There are two types of seeds to deal with: dry seeds and wet seeds. Dry seeds are from plants such as peppers, beans, onions, and carrots. These seeds are easy to prepare for storage, they simply need to be removed from the plant, washed to remove any debris or pulp, then spread to dry. This should be done on a glass or ceramic surface so that the seeds do not stick to it. Do not allow the seeds to be exposed to temperatures above 95 degrees F, as this will reduce the germination rate. Once the seeds are thoroughly dried, store them in glass jars, plastic bags, or even paper envelopes. Be sure to label each container.
Wet seeds need a bit more care before they can be stored. Tomatoes, squash, and eggplant seed must be completely washed to remove the pulp, and then it is best to ferment the seed for several days. This is done by putting the washed seed into a jar of water. As soon as bubbles or mold appears on the top, wait one day, then remove the seeds, wash them again, and follow the above direction for drying.