In troubled economic times, periods of world chaos, and when facing an uncertain future, people often look to stow away essential items, just in case the worst scenario should come to pass. One of those essential items is garden seeds, referred to as “survival seed” in this context. They include a wide range of vegetables and herbs that you can grow to feed yourself and your family if the unimaginable happens. The topic of Survival Seeds covers three important issues: Definition, Sources, and how to store survival seeds.
Survival seeds are garden vegetable and herb seeds that can be stored away for later use when a world famine or other calamity hits the country or the world. They must be non-GMO and non-hybrid. Heirlooms are great candidates. It is also desirable, that they are organic. But, a survival seed does not have to be an heirloom or organic.
Some people state that they must be seeds from open-pollinated plants. This eliminates GMOs and Hybrids. Theoretically, it would also exclude hand-pollinated seeds. Hand pollination is not practiced by companies, as it would be impractical. But, a homeowner could and does hand-pollinate plants. So, a homeowner hand-pollinating an heirloom plant would ultimately harvest vegetable seeds that qualify in every way as Survival Seeds.
Organic Seeds, by their definition, qualify as “Survival Seed”. They are closely monitored by the USDA. However, be cautious and check out what you are about to buy. Some smaller seed companies claim to sell organic seeds but are not certified. When buying Organic stock, look for the statement “USDA Certified” and the USDA label on the packet.
Armed with the definition above, you can begin your seed search. Use a little caution. There are plenty of companies and websites claiming to be marketing “survival seeds”. However, there are no controls or monitoring. And, you are paying a premium price for seeds that just might not be what they are claimed to be.
You will be better off surfing through the offerings of reputable seed manufacturers, who do not sell GMO products. Start with the “organic seed” categories. Then, browse their other offerings. If the title or description says “Hybrid”, then exclude this item from your seed search.
Now that you have acquired your seeds, you need to properly store them, so they will be viable if you ever need them. Properly stored, seeds can usually last a long time. Archaeologists have opened ancient Egyptian tombs and found baskets filled with wheat seeds. When tested, some of them sprouted…… perhaps the ultimate survival seeds!
For long-term survival seed storage, use a sealable plastic bag or a metal, can that tightly closes. Then, put them in a cool, dry (low humidity), and dark place.
Important Note: If you are harvesting your own seed stock for storage, they must be properly dried, before long-term storage in a sealed container.
Some survivalists put their seed in the freezer for long-term storage. Usually, that’s fine. However, the concept of relying on, and using, the freezer in anticipation of an apocalyptic event, seems a bit odd…….. there would be no electricity!