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No matter how much food you store, the fact is that eventually it will go bad or you will run out. What happens then? Will you and your family simply starve and waste away, or will you become dependent upon some government program or someone else for your food? The good news is that you don’t have to become dependent or starve, just so long as you plan ahead.
In this article, I’ll share some tips and recommendations for stocking up on seeds for your long-term survival.
Without seeds for planting, the fact is that all your survival methods and planning will likely be for naught; you’ll only have delayed the inevitable because when your food runs out, you won’t have any real way to replace it. That is, of course, unless you’ve invested in seeds.
Luckily, investing in seeds doesn’t have to be a hugely expensive endeavor. Most seeds will store for 3 – 5 years or longer and still retain good germination rates, so you can stock up now and not worry about replacing your seeds again for several years. But if you’ve never grown your own crops before, you may well be at a loss for what to grow or how to grow it.
To that end, here’s a great list of suggested food that you should have seeds for:
– Corn has been a staple crop in the Americas for thousands of years; it is a versatile, resilient and fairly hardy crop that usually grows well with basic care. Planted in spring just after the last frost has passed, corn will grow throughout the summer and ripen in early fall, generally producing two ears from each stalk / plant.
– Beans, including green beans as well as kidney beans, black beans, navy beans and white beans are all great to store and great to grow. Starting in spring, you can plant green beans continuously throughout the summer to ensure a steady supply of fresh beans.
– Onions can be grown from seed or from starter onions, and are recommended not only for their flavor and culinary use but also for their natural but-repellant effects. Planted near your more desirable herbs and plants, onions can help deter bugs and other pests from munching on your plants.
– Broccoli should be planted in mid-summer to ensure a timely fall harvest; full of antioxidants and healthy nutrients, broccoli is also a good source of protein.
– Carrots are a good staple in any survival garden; plant them in a loose, loamy soil with good drainage during spring, fall and winter. Carrots are one of those rare vegetables that prefer cooler temperatures, so as long as the ground doesn’t freeze during winter, you can generally keep a steady supply of carrots coming in.
– Lettuce can be planted about 2 weeks before the last frost of spring and 6 – 8 weeks before the first frost of fall, to ensure steady yields throughout spring, summer and fall. Easy to grow, fast to mature and one of the first crops you’ll be able to harvest, lettuce is a great crop to grow for beginners and seasoned farmers alike.
– Cucumber is another easy crop to cultivate; with many varieties to choose from, you can plant cucumber after the threat of frost has passed and begin harvesting the first ripe cucumbers in mid-summer. Continuous harvesting of the ripe cucumbers will encourage continued production by the plants and seed harvesting from cucumbers is a breeze.
– Melons can be more temperamental, depending on your climate especially, but they tend to thrive in warm environments. Melon varieties include pumpkin, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon to name only a few. Plant your melons well after the last threat of frost, since they are very cold-sensitive, and remember to leave them plenty of space to sprawl out, they will certainly need it. To reduce the amount of space your melons need, you can always consider dwarf varieties.
– Peppers are a great addition to your survival garden, including bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and cayenne peppers. Most peppers are pretty easy to grow, with bell peppers being one of the easiest of all, and harvesting seeds from the ripe peppers is a piece of cake. Like cucumbers, the more you harvest from your pepper plants, the more they will produce, so don’t be shy about picking those ripe peppers.
– Spinach is a nutrient-packed leafy-green that also packs quite a bit of protein, as anyone who has seen Popeye the Sailor is aware.
– Wheat, as well as barley, is an absolutely essential crop. With two main varieties, winter and spring wheat, the more popular variety is winter wheat. High in nutrients and essential for making flour, and thus bread, wheat is a powerhouse food that has been cultivated by our ancestors for thousands of years.
– Tomatoes are a staple crop, easy to grow and generally quite heavy in their yield. Plant tomatoes in late spring and again in late summer to ensure steady production up until the first frost of winter. Continuous harvesting will boost more production, so don’t be shy about picking those ripe red tomatoes. A great source of antioxidants, potassium, thiamine and various vitamins, tomatoes are a great addition to your survival garden.
As a final note, remember when you’re sourcing your seeds to seek out organic or heirloom variety seeds. Not only will you be supporting traditional seed-breeding operations, but heirloom varieties of vegetables have been grown for generations in their specific region. This means they are well-adapted to the climate and environment of their region, including being resistant to local diseases and stress factors such as soil and nutrient quality.
Growing from heirloom or organic seeds also ensures that you will be able to harvest seed from your crop to re-plant again during the next seasons. With Monsanto and other biotech giants playing God with our food and manipulating genetics to create all sorts of new hybrid, GMO-seeds, the only seeds you should trust for your survival are heirloom and organic varieties. With seed giants like Monsanto producing so-called suicide seeds that produce a sterile crop (no viable seeds to harvest for replanting) it’s clear that you can’t rely on their seed for your survival.
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