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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a lot of people list seeds as a main item in a BOB or other survival kit. And... I always try to analyze the value of each item I might carry. So I thought I would run some pros and cons on seeds to see if they were essential for me. I listed a few and I'm sure you guys can help me come up with more.

Pros:
Lightweight
Small footprint in pack
"Eventually" provide food
Potential trade item

Cons:
Take a long time to grow (which means I have to stay in one place long enough to harvest them)
Can only be planted at the right season
"Eventually" provide food
Can waste many if I'm unfamiliar with the growing conditions of wherever I end up
Most likely won't have any type of irrigation to keep them alive
Can't pick up growing plants and bug out

So... I wanted to find a better way to make this work. My solution: Plant the seeds NOW. Meaning: each time I scout out my potential survival area... I should take some seeds and plant them. This does several things: 1) It helps me learn what grows in the local soil and local weather conditions. 2) If they grow, they should propagate and my local food source will slowly start to increase. 3) They should attract wildlife that I can hunt. 4) I learn what impact local wildlife has on my crops so I can adjust accordingly. 5) Most people won't notice them as they "hunt" the area

Then... I thought.... what grows best in my area? Obvious answer: local vegetation. And, since much of the local vegetation is edible, my next thought was to learn everything I can about local edible plants. Collect seeds at the appropriate time, and help nature propagate these plants as well. Again... the benefits 1) I learn to collect and use local vegetation. 2) I learn where it is at 3) I attract local wildlife that I can hunt. 4) Just about everyone will ignore them as local weeds. And I'm sure there are other benefits as well.

I'd appreciate anyone else's thoughts on this. I'd probably still carry seeds... but they would become secondary, and could be saved until things settled down and I found a more or less permanent location to remain in.
 
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Gardens don't just grow, you have to work at them. After all, when was the last time you tripped over your favorite veggies growing wild? The3 day I find a field full of Big Boy peas, broccoli and tomatoes growing wild will be the day I quit work.

Sure, there are wild plants that are edible, but from what I've learned so far, there is a reason we don't eat them. Either they aren't the best tasting or they don't sit so well.

I think if it is possible, having a predetermined BOL and the right seeds to take is a good idea. For example, work with someone who is already living on a "bug-out" location, like a friend in the country. That's what I've done. Depending upon the scenario, me and mine might have to go that direction, or he and his might want to blend into the town and away from tyrannical take-over of farms.
 

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well should shit be long term, i think of seeds as currency/commodity. a buy into a colony. same thing with hand tools my friend, his bride and i have gotten quite the collection of hand tools at his house. we lok at it as currency. and we'll be king pins. if theres no gas or electricity to run saws,tillers blowers what ever. he has the things for his horses to work pull farm machinery and a passenger wagon. we look at seeds and hand tools as comodity. and knowing how to work with our hands, the old school way...not just technology.

thats very smart to pre plant. im not a land owner, so id have to tress pass. not worth doing right now- for me-but a grand idea.
 

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I always try to buy bulk seeds for what I try to grow. This is my third year gardening and I am still learning a lot about what will and won't grow and when it will grow. There is quite a learning curve with seeds. I think they could be a bartering item, but I would recommend trying to grow the seeds you stockpile. Failure now means going to the grocery. Failure post shtf means eating bugs ;)
 

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Vegie Seeds, especially the re-generating type, would be very useful in bartering, along with growing your own foods.
But don't really see a need for them in my bob, as they could get damp and mildew, be useless for bugging out and they won't taste good when really hungry.
 

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Watercanlady, we keep our seeds in the freezer, but haven't tried them out as yet. This spring, we will take out some of the seeds, plant them and see what happens. Until then, it is mostly hearsay I believe. Have never heard of problems storing them in Mylar bags. But who really knows ! Try some and see what happens,.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting discussion... thanks for the feedback. I both agree and disagree with Denton on the taste. We don't eat them because we don't know how to prepare them and thus... they taste like crap. I've been watching a lot of videos on wild food prep. Everyone agrees that the "salad" type greens all have awesome flavors IF picked at the right time of the year. The ones that require prep... i.e., grinding, roasting, baking, etc... are the ones that have the best nutritional value but taste like crap if not prepared right. And that... is my latest interest: to turn crap into something worth eating.

What I find interesting is that all of our modern "garden" plants were once wild plants that we learned how to cultivate and tweaked to grow better in our yard conditions. I'm interested in making the wild work for me... not against me. Especially since I don't a BOL with an established garden. And I think Barter is a great idea... in other words... trade for what I need and let the other guy deal with the frustration of turning seeds into food. :)
 

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I just packed our seeds into freezer ziplocks for a good seal and then in turn packed those into a back pack. Have enough that they have their own bag!! I think they are invaluable!! We grow a large garden each year and i always save seed from the best looking fruit from the best plants.. Have had success every year with growing seeds from the year before. Just be sure the package says heirloom seed!!! Most seed companies have gone to great lengths to produce a seed that once grown into a plant, does not reproduce. This assures that you return to them to purchase more seed. heirlooms are out there, but if it doesnt say heirloom dont expect anything back out of them.

I really am interested in trying to find someone who can show me the ropes on whats edible in our area and what is not! Know there is so much out there thats poisonous. Have purchased books with detailed info on this, but still have that fear of picking up the wrong thing.

And hadnt thought of using seeds to barter with!! Was gonna hoard them for myself!! :) But I agree, so many that will be worried about trying to find whats left of prepackaged crap from the shelves, they wont think seed.
 

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also make sure to have a farmers alminac handy. they make smaller sized ones for your area. i have one in my bob just in case
 

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Oh yeah, seeds will be like Gold if the situation is long term! Heirlooms will be near priceless I would imagine and a much coveted commodity.

I wouldnt suggest just going out and planting some seeds. First a garden does indeed require some work and maintenance if its going to be a successful and productive garden. Thats the simple reality of the matter. There are not going to be too many things that you can get established, that will replenish itself and out compete the weeds and brush season after season. There are a few things that under the right conditions if well established initially might be viable. Things such as Strawberries, Black Berries, Blue Berries, Onions, Okra and Garlic are a few that come to mind. Fruit trees might be a better option though if your willing to go out once a year and prune them a bit so they arent out of control and stay sturdy so the branches dont break under the weight of fruit and make them suseptable to desiase. For the most part I have a feeling your going to find that tossing out a bunch of seeds just aint going to be too worth while or productive.

The other issue that I think a lot of folks forget to take into consideration is just how much seeds and how large a garden it does take to reliably grow enough veggies to meet a family of 4's needs! A pack or two of Tomato or water mellon might get you a good start but for things like Carrots, Lettuce, Beans, Broccoli, Corn (especially!!!) and dozens of others you will find that you will need a couple dozen packs minimum and thats if your successful your first year with your garden and seed saving. Growing up our gardens were easily 100 x 50 feet and we still occasionally had to buy food at the store during the growing season although not much. I cant begin to tell you how many hours as a kid we spent watching TV with a bushel basket of beans or corn shuckimng or shelling it. 30 years later I am still tramatized as a rersult and having nightmares LOL. Ah yes... those were the good ol' days.
 

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always have plenty of seeds. there are some varieties of radishes that take just over 3 weeks to grow. you can grow them like weeds in a large bucket and carry it with you. lots of different kinds of veggies like that
 

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To me there are a couple obvious responses concerning the initial post. First, if you don't know something and have interest in it for prepping, learn it now. I wish I had more free time and space to practice gardening. As it stands now, I'm in a very rigorous academic program (you can probably figure it out from my name), and won't be in the same place more than 2 months at a time starting in May, so gardening is out of the question for me for the foreseeable future.

2nd, you are right. Seeds to me are not a wise choice for the bug out back itself. Maybe a couple, but are you really going to lug around a coffee can sized container if you have to travel hundreds of miles on foot if SHTF? I think the obvious fix to this situation is a further level of preparation, and that is to prepare your bug out location in addition to your current location. Starting a wild garden right now doesn't seem logical to me. There's too much out of your control at the present time. Animals, fires, droughts, etc... I am looking into hiding my seeds at my bug out location. Luckily for me, I have a standing structure at mine, but burying the seeds in their designer bucket/box seems like an alternate way to go.

Finally comes protection. It really I guess goes back to my previous point about practicality of storing, planting, or carrying seeds. If you carry or plant them, how do you protect that asset in transit? If you carry them, you may lose them to barter or many other things. If you plant them, you can't defend against natural disaster or animals.

The winning choice to me is to store your seeds where you plan to ride out whatever you are preparing for. You aren't going to get any growth with them stowed in your pack and you won't get any food with them planted ahead of time.
 
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