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The Best Seeds to Have For Survival Preparedness
5/16/2017 6:51 AM
If you're in a long-term off-grid situation, you will have to grow your own food. All seeds are not created equal, and you want to get the best seeds for your situation. Deciding which seeds are best for you and your family depends on four factors: your climate zone, your growing space or area, calorie and nutrition value, and seed quality/reproductive ability.
Know Your Climate and Growing Zone
If you live in Yuma, Arizona, you are in the hottest and driest U.S. climate zone. The U.S. has several large climate zones ranging from Hot-Humid to Cold and Subarctic. Any good farmer knows that these broad zones aren't very helpful in determining what will grow best in their area, how long the growing season is, and other local conditions. These factors are sometimes called a microclimate. Your local Cooperative Extension will have lots of information about what grows best in your area: sometimes even down to the level of your neighborhood. Almanacs also cover this type of information.
Growing Space and Area
There have been a lot of advances in farming technology on an individual scale in recent years. Some people are farming in shipping containers, and others are using vertical gardening in cities. Hydroponics and indoor grow lights aren't off-grid approved. But even the old-fashioned Victory Garden from World War I has some updates in the form of modern high-yield organic gardening.
You will need to take your available space into consideration when buying survival seeds. If you only have a small backyard plot, you can grow some corn, but not a lot. Pole beans have the highest yield per square foot of any vegetable, and they are also at the top of the calories per-pound list. Other low-space/high yield veggies are carrots, zucchini, peas and tomatoes.
Calorie and Nutrition Values
The top four crops that yield the highest calories per pound are beans, yams, potatoes and corn. You also want to take nutrition into account. You will need vitamins and minerals that come from dark green, leafy vegetables like kale even though it's not a high calorie food. Other important nutritional elements come from beets and carrots.
Seed Quality and Storage
You will read a lot of confusing information about GMOS and "suicide seeds" especially in poor quality prepper sites. Genetically-modified organisms or GMOs are today's nutrition controversy. Despite a lot of protests, there are few GMO seeds sold to the public. Most agriculture companies like Monsanto would love to force farmers to buy seeds that would only reproduce for one season ("suicide seeds") but they aren't doing that. The only problem with commercial seeds, especially for grain, is that they do not reproduce true, yes, because of intensive breeding or because of some GMO modification.
That's why you want to buy "real" survival seeds. They are from heirloom varieties and will reproduce true. You will be able to plant them, eat the fruit or vegetable, and save the seeds for the next season.
Whether you are drying and preparing seeds from your own crops, or buying seeds for your own garden for the first time, you will want to store them in a cool, dry place. The temperature shouldn't go any higher than 45 degrees F. Ideally, your seeds will be in a sealed container and individual package, like mylar. If you're storing your own seeds, a dessicant (drying agent) will keep moisture out. Heat and moisture are the enemies of seed life.
Focus on your high-calorie vegetables and roots for calories and select other seeds to give you the micro-nutrients you want from fruits and vegetables grown from your seeds.
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