It seems that everywhere you look, someone is offering Survival Seeds or a “Survival Seed Bank” for sale. I don’t know which is more unbelievable. The prices they’re asking for these Survival Seeds or the Survival Seed Banks or that there are actually people willing to pay the asking price! Many of these offers don’t have $10 worth of seeds in them and they’re being sold for $50 to $150!
Buying and storing seeds for survival is not hard and not expensive, certainly not as expensive as some of the survival seed packs being offered on the Internet.
How To Make Your Own Survival Seed Bank
First off, you want to use only heirloom seeds, not hybrid seeds. Heirloom seeds are open pollinated. You will get the same type of plant year after year by saving the seeds. With hybrid seeds, the plants are derived from two different plant varieties. The problem with seeds from hybrids is that when you save the seeds and replant them, you typically get one variety and not the other. That is, if you even get anything from the hybrid seeds.
You can find good quality heirloom seeds on the Internet. Several places that I re3commend are Heirloom Seeds, Baker Creek and Victory Seeds. Another good source of heirloom seeds is Seed Savers. Seed Savers is an exchange where people can share and trade heirloom seeds.
Before you start ordering any kind of seeds, sit down and figure out which varieties you want to plant and which ones you may want to plant in the future. Make a list before you start shopping for seeds.
For example, here are the seeds I buy, plant and put back in my seed bank.
Corn (sweet and field varieties)
Beans (pole, green and pinto)
Tomatoes (southern varieties that do well in the heat)
Onions (bulb and green type)
Potatoes (I prefer the red and Yukon golds)
Cucumbers (pickling and slicers)
Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe)
Greens (spinach, turnip, etc)
The seeds that you’ll want to fit your situation will probably be different, but at least this will give you an idea of what types I put back. Make sure that you’ve actually grown the variety in your area to ensure that it grows well in your local climate. Here in the South, many Tomato varieties don’t handle our heat well, so we have to be selective in what we plant. For example, the heirloom variety Brandywines are great tomatoes but they don’t tolerate the heat near as well as Arkansas Travelers. So which one do you think I plant and put back the most of? You guessed it, the Travelers!
Now that you have your own list of heirloom seeds made out, go shopping. Depending on the variety, I try to buy all my seeds in bulk. I like to have at least several hundred seeds of each type in my bank at any one time. I will also add seeds throughout the early Spring as they become available and I also add some of my own seeds that I saved.
By saving seeds this way, you’ll soon find out that your survival seed bank grows quickly!
How To Make a Survival Seed Bank
Now let’s say that you have your survival seeds and you want to start your seed bank. I personally do not like to store seeds in the packets they come in, but I have done it without any ill effects. I normally put them into a plastic bag, put a label into the bag with the name of the plant and date I put them in and then vacuum seal the bag. Once I have a good variety of seeds, I will then store them in several manners.
My favorite way is to put all the vacuum packed seeds into a mylar bag and seal it. Once that bag is sealed, I then put it into a plastic bucket (2 gallon or larger) or a PVC pipe sealed at both ends (one end with a threaded cap seal).
Another way I store my seeds after I’ve vacuumed packed them is in a surplus ammo can with a good tight seal. These are normally seeds stored away from my home in remote locations that I can retrieve at a later date if I need them.
If this all seems over kill, just remember, moisture and air are your seeds enemy. Once your seeds get soaked, you’ll need to plant them right away or risk damage. Some may be okay by drying them quickly, but then again, you’re not generally around when your stored seeds become water logged!
Why Store Survival Seeds?
Many people question why anyone needs to store seeds for survival. If you find yourself asking this, you need to do some more research on hybrid seeds. I’ll just quickly give you my opinion here.
First, many genetically enhanced hybrid seeds produce great food. But I’m not real big on genetically enhanced anything and I prefer food from good ole heirloom seeds.
Some will argue that food from genetically enhanced food is not as good for you as food grown from heirloom seeds. I don’t know this to be true and have never read any hardcore evidence supporting this theory.
I know this to be true of many varieties. Heirloom seeds produced vegetables taste better than vegetables grown from hybrid seeds. This is true for Tomatoes, Melons, Corn and others.
Some also point out the controversy behind the so called Terminator Seeds or GURT seeds. These seeds are designed to be sterile and not reproduce. Although I can find nothing saying these seeds have ever been sold commercially, there’s always the thought in the back of some people’s mind.
So before you shell out big money for a survival seed bank or small packets of vacuum packed survival seeds, save yourself a lot of money and do it yourself. You’ll save money and come away with a lot more seeds for the money!