It’s your worst nightmare come true; The disaster has passed, you’ve made a huge dent in the emergency food supply that you had so carefully stored away and the seeds your life now depends upon aren’t sprouting.
Saving survival seeds has been an age old practice, possibly going on since the beginning of time. The whole gist of the idea is to secure some of the best seeds of the most vital foods, especially grains and vegetables, in preparation for the possible occurrence of a global catastrophe that would wipe out essential food resources. Those surviving such an event would then locate their saved seeds and replant as needed, thereby ensuring the continued existence of human life.
Sounds like a pretty decent insurance policy, right? After all, it’s said that food is the staff of life. But what if that big bad global catastrophe happened and, after having survived, you find out that your insurance policy was no good? What if the world’s food supply was wiped out, say by a meteor strike or deadly drought and future life did depend on those saved seeds being able to fuel existence…only to find that they didn’t survive? Or even worse, you plant your much hyped organic heirloom seeds and after waiting for weeks, they fail to grow because you either saved the wrong type of seeds or the whole process of saving them was all wrong, causing them to fail the test of time. Frightening stuff, right?
Ensuring that one’s seed stock is disaster proof is as important as the seeds themselves. As such, one should know the most important steps to follow to preserve seeds and keep them viable for any crisis event that may arise. Depending on whether your seeds are purchased from a survival seeds reseller, or you’re using seeds reaped from your own plants, there are several steps to follow in ensuring that your heirloom survival seeds are actually disaster-proof.
How to Store Disaster-Proof Survival Seeds
Follow these steps to assure you have usable seeds ready in times of crisis.
1. Select the Right Seeds to Store
The best seeds to store are from open-pollinated, non-hybrid plants. Some of these produce mature seeds in their first or second year, so it’s important to have up to date information on each type of vegetable to know when is the best time to allow them to seed and then reap those seeds.
There is an abundance of literature available online covering the planting and harvesting of practically every vegetable seed from carrots to collards. It’s recommended that you purchase your first set of seed and that you buy from a seller that offers additional information and guides about the types of seeds being sold, how they were prepared and how to use them.
2. Prepare Survival Seeds for Storage
Preparing your own heirloom organic seeds for storage, often require cleaning and air-drying before being stored away. This process requires removing pods, husks and other non-essential materials then leaving them out in the sun or in a cool, dry area.
The drying process can last for a week or more, depending on the type of seed, but is needed to make sure that seeds do not store any extra moisture. Wet seeds such as tomato seeds may require the extra process of fermenting before being dried to enhance their storability but this is a step that could prove to be somewhat risky, so research should be carried out before attempting to do this.
Little information is provided by suppliers of survival seeds about the drying process employed since most of them buy from wholesalers who would have already done the preparation. Therefore, making purchases means putting some degree of trust in the vendor that they would have used recommended drying processes.
3. Store Seeds in Moisture-Proof Containers
Seeds and water equals to new plants, it’s as simple as that. Therefore, once seeds are completely dry, they should be stored in airtight, moisture-proof packages such as Ziploc bags and then placed in airtight containers such as foil-laminated packages provided by some survival seed sellers. Persons storing their own seeds can purchase such packaging online or from stores that sell them. The most important thing is to protect seeds from moisture and these packages are designed to be vapor barriers, thereby keeping external moisture from interacting with the seeds.
Another suitable way to store seeds for long term survival is to place the Ziploc baggies into resealable glass jars. Canning jars and old pickle or spaghetti jars are perfect for this purpose since they have lids that are made to seal moisture out of the jars.
Desiccant packs should also be placed into the jars as additional insurance against moisture.
Placing the sealed jars into the refrigerator or freezer will preserve your non-GMO seeds for long periods of time and they’ll be ready for use once removed and allowed to return to room temperature.
4. Store Containers in Dark, Dry and Cool Areas
It’s simple chemistry. Seeds need a combination of heat, light and water in order to reproduce. As such, to keep them from sprouting before they are needed, they should be kept in places where these ingredients are not accessible. A dark, dry room is suitable and a refrigerator or freezer can be excellent locations for long term storage.
Once seeds are kept frozen, some varieties can stay in storage for decades without losing their germination ability. Whether purchasing seeds, or storing your own it is a good idea to research the best storing methods for each type of seed.
5. Know When to Replenish Your Survival Seeds
No matter how well you store seeds, they won’t last forever. After having them in storage for years and nothing has happened, as in no global crisis, you should remove your seeds and plant them. You can then replenish your survival seed stock by either purchasing more (expensive way) or saving heirloom seeds harvested from the ones you just planted (smarter way).
Only time will tell if and when the world will face a catastrophe which would require the use of survival seeds. Regardless of whether such an event will occur, it makes a lot of sense to store seeds. But not storing them properly is senseless. Seeds are living organisms and as such, plans to store them should be in consideration of this to ensure that they survive disasters.
Imagine taking out health insurance but not being able to cash in after finding out one day that you have a life-threatening disease that will kill you in days if you are not able to pay for treatment. That’s what would happen if seeds are not disaster-proof.
Heirloom seeds also function as survival seeds. Many gardeners purchase them for this purpose so that they’ll always have a food supply in times of emergencies. The seeds are rich in protein, which means they can provide the nutrition and stamina you need especially when disaster strikes. All you have to do is sprout the seeds and you’ll be able to feed your loved ones in doomsday situations where food is inaccessible and health is vital.