One of the most important aspects of prepping is a survival food source. Most folks choose the food storage option, rotating bulk stocks to keep supplies fresh.
But if you’re looking for a long-term survival solution, you must consider the garden alternative. It’s hard work with a tough learning curve if you didn’t grow up on a farm.
However, if there’s a deep social collapse, how else will you feed your family and members of your group for months … or much longer?
I’ve always grown roses, planted trees, and helped maintain my wife’s flower and herb gardens. But I’ve never grown food crops in any substantial way. And that’s going to change, because …
I am a prepper.
Part of my preparedness lifestyle is to always be honing and/or developing new survival skills. Skills that add to my self-reliance and eventually to my self-sufficiency.
Like most important projects, saving specific seeds for specific plant outcomes involves as much “art” as science.
Nuances like garden location, the age of plants, and time of day all play a part in saving seeds.
There are dozens of things you should know about this topic, but here are ten you should start with.
If you have others, please comment below.
1. Saving seeds helps preserve the genetic material of the plant varieties we have. Within the last 100 years, we’ve lost over half of the varieties we used to have.
2. Saving seeds will give you crops that are better adapted to your specific environment. You’ll be collecting seeds from the plants/varieties that thrived. It gives you a lot of control over what grows in your yard.
3. It saves money.
4. It’s easy to share and trade seeds with others.
5. Save seeds from heirloom and open pollinated varieties. An heirloom variety is one that has been passed down within a family for 50 years or more. Open pollinated is simply a plant that has pollinated by itself or its type. Both will give you crops true to the original plant.
6. Seeds from hybrid plants will not give you the same crop as the original plant. In fact, seeds saved from a lot of hybrid tomato varieties end up growing cherry tomatoes! Once something is hybridized, anything in the genetic chain can come up in a crop. If you’re serious about saving seeds, you’ll need to take steps to avoid cross pollination, which will produce hybrids!
7. If you live near large commercial farms that grow soybeans, alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, or sugar beets, there’s a very good chance those crops are GMO. There’s a possibility that cross pollination could occur, but the seeds that are available to the consumer are not GMO.
8. If you intend to save seeds from specific plants, it will take some planning to avoid cross pollination, since bees and other pollinators, including wind!, carry pollen from blossom to blossom. Read more about this here.
9. You can avoid cross pollination by placing small organza gift bags over the blooms you want to protect and hand pollinate. These are nice because they’re reusable and you can use the drawstrings to tighten the bag over the plant.
10. Hand pollinate early in the morning while the pollen is still visible. Female flowers are only open once.
Source: From another great post by Lisa Bedford, the original Survival Mom. Lisa is a great resource. Please check out her site
Image: Hebi B.