Seed saving may not be the first thought that comes to mind when you prepare for a future disaster. To tell the truth, it probably should not be the first thing on your list either. However, after you prepare your bug out bag and have some sort of escape plan in place, it is time to start thinking about medium-term and long-term survival.
Preparing a Survival Garden
Your survival garden definitely qualifies as a means of long-term endurance in almost any foreseeable future. Modern civilization depends on a very complicated and heavily layered system of agriculture, which brings a variety of food from far away to your supermarket. You cannot count on this system surviving even a moderate challenge in the form of civil unrest, catastrophic war or an epidemic. The only people that survive in the long haul will be those who know how to grow their own food.
Why Save Seeds?
Even if you have a garden now, you may really be much more dependent on others than you think. A lot of what you use to cultivate your garden may come from the store. Do you buy your seeds? You will not be able to do this when society falls apart and the delivery trucks stop coming to your neighborhood. That is why you need to learn how to save seeds now. You may not have the resources or the time to learn this critical skill after your real problems have already started.
How to Save Your Seeds After TEOTWAWKI
There is nothing revolutionary about seed saving. It is the traditional way of maintaining gardens and farms from year to year. It is quite natural. However, in the last few decades, this age-old custom has given way to the practice of purchasing seeds from commercial seed companies. This will all have to change when the ties that bind society together weaken and snap. You will need to start your survival garden right away actually. If you have been buying commercial seeds, you cannot count on saving their seeds after a disaster. Many of these seeds have been hybridized or otherwise altered. Many do not produce seeds or they do not produce adequate seeds. Your first step, therefore, is to acquire heirloom or open-pollinated seeds and plant your garden with them this year.
These heirloom seeds are acquired from businesses that are still offering traditional seeds to the public. Such seeds are the descendants of plants that have been grown throughout the ages. You can make them a part of your garden right now and be ready to start saving your own seeds.You cannot just grab some seeds right before you harvest your food and put them in a bag for later. Seeds have to be gathered at the right time for each plant and preserved in distinct ways. You also have to remember to take seeds from your best plants each year or season. As time goes by, you will be able to get better results from your garden this way as you encourage the future plants to take on better features, such as greater size or improved taste.
As an example, consider carrot seeds. Carrots will be an important staple for many survival gardens because these roots are loaded with nutrition. However, carrots are also biennial plants. They come to flower during their second year.As soon as the carrots flower, the seed heads will begin to dry. Once they have turned brown, cut them off and put them in a bag before shaking them up a little. The seeds should come loose. Save these seeds in a labeled bag until you are ready to plant again.
Legumes are not exciting. A lot of people turn their heads at peas and beans. These plants, however, are similarly loaded with nutrition, especially protein. You can use the same method of removing the seeds. In fact, the seeds from these plants are much larger and easier to harvest.
Your survival garden will also need some variety. Even in hard times it is important to set aside opportunities for leisure and pleasure. Diversifying your food supply is a perfect way to do this. Tomatoes have important nutrition value but they are also excellent plants for adding flavor to a meal.
Saving seeds from tomatoes, though, is a little more complicated. You have to let the seeds ferment before you store them or they will be essentially useless. There are many ways to do this but the easiest method will be the best for you until you are a little more adept at seed saving.Select some of the healthiest-looking tomatoes in your garden. Slice them in half. Scoop out the seeds, along with the jelly-like flesh around them. Put this all into a cup with a few tablespoons of water. Cover the cup with a lid that has holes in it. This will allow air to enter and cause fermentation.
Leave the cup in the sun for a few days. Use a sieve to filter out the seeds and dry them. Wait until they are completely dry to store them for the long-term.
You will learn more about this process as you do it. Look up the methods for saving other seeds. The sooner you get started, the more prosperous your survival garden will be when the time comes and you really need it.