As you are preparing for a survival situation, you probably know one of the things you can do is plant and grow your own food. It’s one less way to have to depend on others for survival. But have you considered starting your own seed bank? A seed bank is a great way to store seeds from harvest time so you have a good stash for the next growing season, and even some to share with others as a useful bartering tool. It’s is fairly easy to start a seed bank, and should be a vital part of your preparation plans. Think beyond the harvest to the next growing season.
Heirloom, Hybrid, or GMO?
First, you should know there are 3 main kinds of seeds: heirloom, GMO, and hybrid seeds. Heirloom seeds haven’t been mass bred and reproduced as hybrids. GMO seeds are hybrid seeds that are manufactured to be pest resistant. Hybrid seeds can only produce for one season typically, and are bred for performance (bigger blooms, colors, etc.) Heirloom seeds are typically the type you should choose when selecting seeds for your seed bank. They can be used year after year, and will stay viable longer than GMO or hybrid seeds. However, you shouldn’t write off hybrids for your seed bank. They can often grow in less than ideal conditions, which would make them a great asset for stockpiling.
Which Seeds You Really Need
Once you are ready to begin building your seed bank, you want to think about which seeds you want to save. Most people start with only the fruits and vegetables that their family will consume, which is wise. That way you aren’t stuck with seeds for plants you’ll not eat the produce from. Once you have those varieties, you should also add in others. They could be very useful for trading or bartering with others in a survival situation. Plus, having a wide variety of seeds means a wide variety of foods in your diet. The typical plants that many people save seeds from are squash, tomato, peppers, beans, and onions. Of course, you can add many others to this list.
How to Stock Up on Seeds
Some people will purchase seeds for their seed banks, but many people also will dry and harvest their own from their current garden.
To dry the seeds for saving, you should let them air dry (and sometimes this will happen right on the plant, like with the sunflower., but others will need to be removed from the fruit and laid on newspaper or a paper towel to dry out, rotating them often.
Once they are dry, you can store them in a couple of different ways. One way is to put them in envelopes with the year and the type of seed written on the outside. You can also do this in canning jars, or in Mylar bags. Whichever method you choose, labeling is key! You need to know what you have saved! Also, be sure to add more seeds to the bank every year, using the oldest ones first.
The most awesome benefit of seed saving is that you are taking your food supply into your own hands. With a seed bank, you just need water, dirt, and sunlight to grow your own bountiful harvest. Have you started your own survival seed bank yet?