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What seeds are good to buy for when the SHTF?

This is a discussion on What seeds are good to buy for when the SHTF? within the General Prepper and Survival Talk forums, part of the Survivalist, Prepper, Bushcrafter, Forest Rangers category; Seeds are pretty amazing. We have seeds stored in a drawer in our laundry room, some seeds in the refrigerator and even stored some seeds ...

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Thread: What seeds are good to buy for when the SHTF?

  1. #31
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    Seeds are pretty amazing. We have seeds stored in a drawer in our laundry room, some seeds in the refrigerator and even stored some seeds in the freezer.

    Last year when we planted our garden, one of our gardening pails was in the garage all winter and had some gardening tools and old gloves in it but also a package of Green Bean seeds. Mrs Slippy planted the seeds and they grew and produced beans.

    Hell, I've tossed rotten tomatoes in the woods and the next year had "volunteer" tomato plants spring up.

    Seeds are amazing things....

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonya View Post
    Yeah sadly I think many of the folks that are buying those "easy emergency survival seed vaults" would starve before they ever managed to produce anything. It would end up being a lot of back breaking work and a whole lot of tears with no real harvest.
    Yeah I can see that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonya View Post
    I don't garden, mainly because the 2-3 times I tried something happened (like catepillars showing up and eating all of my beautiful "growing so well" little plants in 2 nights). But I do want to try again.
    That was me too. That's why I started. I know I'm going to make mistakes but I'd rather do it now when help is easily accessible.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sonya View Post
    One thing I find interesting are the methods and crops grown by settlers. Today we tend to grow stuff and plan to preserve it all for year round use. Back then they focused on growing/eating seasonal crops throughout the year which makes more sense for a variety of reasons.
    But they also grew for canning. That's how they got through the winters.

  3. #33
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    Dang Inceptor you stole my thunder again....lol!

    Yeah we grew a lot and ate seasonal quiet a bit but we also canned the dog doo-doo out of things too to eat throughout the year. In the winter here, lots of Snow Peas, Broccoli, Spinach etc...in the summer, your typical summer table fair was abundant. A lot of my TV time was spent with a bushel basket between my legs shelling beans and peas or shucking corn. About every other weekend the last couple months of the summer growing season we were canning fools!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonya View Post
    I don't garden, mainly because the 2-3 times I tried something happened (like catepillars showing up and eating all of my beautiful "growing so well" little plants in 2 nights). But I do want to try again.
    Yep, been there seen that movie a few times. Its part of the learning curve. Its also part of the reason I said it take a lot more garden than most think to produce what you need. That also means you gonna have to have enough seeds stashed away to start two or three times at least on hand just in case you have a bad year.

    I think your dead on right about the folks buying a can of seeds and going I got this covered. I am betting you the bank that you dont! Yeah it doesnt take much in the way of seeds for Okra, Tomatoes, Watermelon, but to grow enough Spinach, Carrots, Radishes and such takes more than a few seed packs just to grow what you can consume as fast as you grow it! Look too at what it takes time wise from seeds sprouting till the time it STARTS producing something edible...many varieties I grow have a 80-90 day window. Thats if things go well and I have no set backs or misfortune in the mean time! I need a lot of food to eat long before then!!!

    You brought up another excellent point too. Gardening is back breaking work especially when you initially start to work a piece of ground. I went to raised beds partially becuase of that...yeah I am lazy some would say but I call it working smarter not harder! Even then I spent a lot of back breaking time making it happen and broke a lot of sweat in the process. I might have quite the green thumb but I aint got no Harry Potter magic wand in my back pocket either!
    inceptor and Sonya like this.

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  5. #34
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    I'm actually doing 2 things.

    Waist high raised beds. We have one the wife bought and the next one will be a shallow one strictly for salad stuff. Over the winter I will build 2 more 4' by maybe 3.5' that will be 12-18" deep. Part of that will be vertical gardening.

    I'm also doing container gardening. Sitting Elf told me about grow bags. I have brussel sprouts growing in them now. We bought a batch of 9 but only 3 are doing well. I'm not sure why unless I used different dirt in each. I think that's part of the problem but I wasn't paying attention when I filled the bags. I also have garlic and onions going right now that are doing well.

    With the container gardening, I'm also looking into companion planting. What plants do well with others planted in the same container.

    There are quite a number of trees in my area so full sun is a problem. Not only in my yard but the neighbors also. Combine that with a very small backyard and I had to get creative.
    A Watchman, Sonya and Slippy like this.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by inceptor View Post
    But they also grew for canning. That's how they got through the winters.
    Canning didn't become mainstream until after the Civil War.

    Before that settlers and homesteaders had some other methods, like salting, pickeling, root cellars, etc... but they primarily focused on eating with the seasons and only preserved certain foods that they really needed to store year round like eggs for cooking, or maybe some fruit as a treat. Saurkraut was popular, and it also prevented scurvy over the winter.

    Obviously some types of storage is needed to prevent starvation, but much of the canning we do today is done to mimic the year round availability of foods from the grocery stores.

    I've read starvation in the South was a big factor in the North winning the war. Salt shortages caused huge problems as without salt people couldn't preserve pork or other meats. With the high humidity in the South dehydrating food was difficult and it didn't last very long. Canning had been invented but home canning didn't exist at that point. Interesting article on that and the substitutions people used: http://www.unctv.org/content/civilwar/cooking
    Last edited by Sonya; 11-23-2016 at 07:58 AM.
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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonya View Post
    Canning didn't become mainstream until after the Civil War.

    Before that settlers and homesteaders had some other methods, like salting, pickeling, root cellars, etc... but they primarily focused on eating with the seasons and only preserved certain foods that they really needed to store year round like eggs for cooking, or maybe some fruit as a treat. Saurkraut was popular, and it also prevented scurvy over the winter.

    Obviously some types of storage is needed to prevent starvation, but much of the canning we do today is done to mimic the year round availability of foods from the grocery stores.

    I've read starvation in the South was a big factor in the North winning the war. Salt shortages caused huge problems as without salt people couldn't preserve pork or other meats. With the high humidity in the South dehydrating food was difficult and it didn't last very long. Canning had been invented but home canning didn't exist at that point. Interesting article on that and the substitutions people used: Cooking During The Civil War | UNC-TV ? Life-changing television
    I had not read that but I know canning existed then. From a book published in 1859 Randolph B. Marcy's A Handbook for Overland Expeditions has a short discourse on it.

    Dessicated or dried vegetables are almost equal to the fresh, and ar put up in such a compact an portable form as easily to be transported over the plains. They have been extensively used in the Crimean war, and by our own army in Utah, and have been very generally approved. They are prepared by cutting the fresh vegetables into thin slices and subjecting them to a very powerful press, which removes the juice and leaves a solid cake, which, after having been thoroughly dried in an oven, becomes almost hard as a rock. A small piece of this, about half the size of a man's hand, when boiled, swells up so as to fill a vegetable dish, and is sufficient for four men. It is believed that the antiscorbutic properties of vegetables are not impaired by dessication, and they will keep for years if not exposed to dampness. Canned vegetables are very good for campaigning, but are not so portable as when put up in the other form. The dessicated vegetables used in our army have been prepared by Chollet and Co., 46 Rue Richer, Paris.

  8. #37
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    Maybe I missed it, but a key to survival gardening is getting seeds that are open pollinated. Sometimes heirloom can mean that but I would not always assume it. Most modern vegetable plants sold today are hybrids, meaning the seed taken from these plants will not reproduce true. No telling what you would get. Open pollinated seeds will reproduce true, as long as you don't make your own hybrids by growing 2 different varieties of the same food next to each other. So if you have say 2 open pollinated varieties of corn, you would want to separate the plots so they they can't cross pollinate. You can also plant the 2 varieties close to each other if you stagger the planting time so they they don't set pollen at the same time.

    I have some of those survival seed vaults but I'm really not a fan. Many of the varieties may not grow well in any given locale. Also, there really is not enough of the seeds needed for real survival, IMO. I put up bulk open pollinated seed, which is mostly purchased at the local feed store, just as I do my survival food. They are in the 6 gallon food grade pails, with the seed sealed inside mylar bags. I'm a big fan of companion gardening, as in a crisis you can't run down to the store for fertilizer. I'd check to see if you could grow the three sisters in your area. If so, study up on the native American's techniques & store the proper varieties for your location.

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    Maybe I missed it, but a key to survival gardening is getting seeds that are open pollinated. Sometimes heirloom can mean that but I would not always assume it. Most modern vegetable plants sold today are hybrids, meaning the seed taken from these plants will not reproduce true. No telling what you would get. Open pollinated seeds will reproduce true, as long as you don't make your own hybrids by growing 2 different varieties of the same food next to each other. So if you have say 2 open pollinated varieties of corn, you would want to separate the plots so they they can't cross pollinate. You can also plant the 2 varieties close to each other if you stagger the planting time so they they don't set pollen at the same time.
    I think cross pollination is one problem I've had this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    I have some of those survival seed vaults but I'm really not a fan. Many of the varieties may not grow well in any given locale. Also, there really is not enough of the seeds needed for real survival, IMO. I put up bulk open pollinated seed, which is mostly purchased at the local feed store, just as I do my survival food. They are in the 6 gallon food grade pails, with the seed sealed inside mylar bags. I'm a big fan of companion gardening, as in a crisis you can't run down to the store for fertilizer. I'd check to see if you could grow the three sisters in your area. If so, study up on the native American's techniques & store the proper varieties for your location.
    I've got a few packs of the survival seeds too and you are correct, not all plants will grow well in all zones. These are for emergencies or trading. I buy some locally but I buy mostly from Burpee's and Eden Brothers. Eden Brothers does sell some seeds in bulk.

    Companion gardening is something I'm starting to learn about.

    The Three Sisters?

  10. #39
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    The Three Sisters, got it. I don't plan on growing corn. I just don't have the room.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by inceptor View Post
    The Three Sisters, got it. I don't plan on growing corn. I just don't have the room.
    The way I see it, if you don't have room for corn, you don't have enough room for self-sufficiency. But I do understand many here don't work towards that or don't currently have the room.

    My sister just has raised beds in her suburban backyard. After seeing my corn grow, she dedicated one of her beds to corn this year. Problem was, she waited for her broccoli to finish, which put her planting the corn a bit late. When you do so, earworms can become a major problem. I still suggest small scale gardeners grow the crops that one day might be the difference between survival... and not. Even growing a very small plot will gain you knowledge and that IMO is the most valuable prepper resource one can have.

 

 
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