Last week, we touched on the importance of long-term food storage, but we asked the question -- What do you do when the food runs out? Seed harvesting and storing is a practice that goes back to the earliest Americans, and is a time-honored tradition, with some seeds passing down from generation to generation within families. And it isn't just a local phenomenon. In Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank located in the Arctic, which functions to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern. The seed vault is an attempt to provide insurance against large-scale regional or global crises.
If the world is preparing for disaster on such a large scale, don't you think it's high time your family should be creating their own seed vaults as well?
Thankfully, creating your own seed vault is easy, as long as you purchase the correct seeds. Those colorful packets you'll find in your local grocery store will NOT help you in a long-term situation. They are designed as one-use only -- meaning you can only harvest one crop from them. The seeds contained in the bounty they yield will NOT germinate the next year. Consider it designed obsolescence that the big conglomerates have put in place to make you spend more money each year to provide food for your table. Instead, heirloom seeds are just that -- heirlooms -- that can be harvested and passed down from generation to generation, to provide bountiful harvests year after year.
Some things to think about:
* What mix of fruits, nuts and vegetables will you need to provide adequate nutrition for all the members of your family?
* What temperate zone do you live in, and which plants will grow well there?
* What type of soil do you have, and would raised beds be a better option?
Think about all types of seeds, not just common vegetables. Herbals, including medicinals, are important, along with nut trees, fruit trees and even coffee and tea plants (yes, there are Heirloom varieties from very cold climates that grow well here in the Ozarks). You need to consider your family's overall nutrition, and include as many vitamin and nutrient rich foods as possible, along with high protein foods, such as nuts and beans. There are even some flower seeds that are very useful, including marigolds to ward off pests from gardens. So really put some thought into what you want to grow, where you have to grow it, and how you can properly store it once you have it.