> TEOTWAWKI Blog: "Survival Seeds" are silly.

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3/3/11

"Survival Seeds" are silly.

Buying a can of seeds and tossing it in the closet
does NOT make you prepared to grow food
post-TEOTWAWKI. That's silly.
A variety of companies have been pushing heirloom "survival seeds" for a while now. Basically, most seeds are hybrid seeds, which means you can't use seeds from those plants to grow more plants. You need heirloom/non-hybrid seeds to do that. This is fine and all for gardening purposes, but companies are selling these seeds packaged for long shelf life, to be opened after TEOTWAWKI. I guess survivors will just take these seeds, plant 'em and soon have a bounteous garden to make it through the apocalypse. They'll save humanity because they were wise enough to stockpile precious seeds.

Really? Think about the use scenario here. There's been a societal collapse so drastic that markets are shut down, and shut down for long enough that you can go from planting seeds through to food production (several months). You've got a can of seeds, which you need to plant, care for and then wait for them to produce. How well do you think that will go for you?

If you're a skilled farmer/gardner, that may be one thing...but if that describes you, you probably don't need a #10 can full of survival seeds. You already have a garden/farm going, which you may be able to keep up post-collapse. A can of seeds isn't going to be much help there (though you may want to use heirloom seeds now).

If you're a gardening/farming moron like most people I know (myself included), then you're not going to get much, if anything out of those seeds. You need fertile soil, water, sun, security, know-how and time to go from seeds to food producing plants. Most people fail miserably for the first few seasons they try their hand at growing, and that's in normal times, with all of the modern resources at hand. If you're blasted back to the stone age, starving and worrying for your life, do you think you'll fare much better?

So ya, I think these cans of survival seeds are generally pretty silly things, providing a false sense of security for many. If you want to grow your own food after a disaster, you need to start before the trouble hits. If you're going to grow-your-own, get a robust garden going now, learn the ropes and make the mistakes while the costs are low. Certainly don't chuck a can of seeds in the survival cave and think you're good to go! You'll be pretty disappointed when crunch time rolls around.

17 comments :

  1. So you don't believe in gathering seeds and being self-reliant. Would you like to talk to Monsanto, or the Haitians that refused those free GMO seeds as a recovery items. Or the GMO corn that has no nutrition value but is great for ethanol.
    Of course produce will always be cheap. The Government won't lie to us.
    Sorry you "jumped the shark on this idea". I may think you pay to much for survival seeds but I don't think they are a bad Idea. I think folks are silly about buying MRES instead of storing real food. But I do understand why as MRE's are simple and easy.
    Why do you seem to think heirloom seeds will be easier to get in the future? It's hard to find them now!

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  2. If I survive the waves of hungry zombies. If I don't starve or come down with the plague. If my government doesn't lock me away for my own good. If I can find a secure spot with water. I'm planting a garden. That first bite of corn on the cob will be to die for.

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  3. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. I agree whole-heartedly with the last paragraph. But, I get the feeling you're NOT going to have growing your own food as part of your plan in order to provide for yourself and your family. That, I have a real problem with. I don't think it's really practical to plan on simply storing all of the food you may need. So many things can go wrong with that plan. The worst case scenario being your stored food gets "confiscated" or outright stolen.

    Producing your own food, I feel, needs to be PART of your plan. Yes, to simply have some seeds in your supplies and plan on sticking them in the ground and producing all the food you need if things gets bad is, indeed, silly.

    Almost as silly as thinking you can store as much food as you could possibly need for the un-forseeable future.

    PJ

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  4. I would be willing to bet that 60% of the veggies packed in that survival can at least 80% of the masses wouldn't eat. Better to buy the "heirlooms" now, that you will eat and vacuum pack the seeds for the future. Better to grow now what you will eat and save seed.

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  5. A) the first person needs to re-read the article
    B)PJ, The article seems to be intended as a 'hey, start doing this now!'
    C)If I had the money and all my other preps squared away, perhaps it would be good just in case or for barter.

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  6. I do agree with you on the fact that most people don't have the slightest idea what they are doing in the garden. As for the comment about most survival seeds being none heirloom I agree with that too. But to not have a garden as part of your survival/self sufficiency plan is just irresponsible. Mosts preppers need to stop buying all the unnecessary gear and start learning skills that they will need in a post-SHTF scenario. If you start now, learning how to make a garden produce properly then it will be a little less traumatic in a bad situation. I agree with you, if you are going to do it post-SHTF then you should be doing it now.

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  7. Adventures in Self Reliance:

    Please re-read the post. I never said that gardening, growing your own food or, if you have those skills, storing seeds was a bad idea. The silliness comes in when people with no farming/gardening ability buy a can of seeds, throw them in the storage room and consider themselves prepared to grow food in troubled times. Not likely.

    PJ:

    You are correct sir, I currently don't have growing my own food among my survival plans. It doesn't work for our family...at the moment. In the future, we will certainly include some kind of vegetable garden in our plans, maybe with some chickens and rabbits.

    I agree that people need to plan to produce food, however, food storage should take priority. If something happens to your food storage (confiscation, disaster), think of how much more sensitive a robust garden would be. I'll post my thoughts shortly.

    Chris:

    Agreed. If you're squared away elsewhere and looking for things to buy, survival seeds would be fine.

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  8. NOTE TO ALL:

    Any flame-like posts will be deleted swiftly. Keep things civil and polite.

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  9. Alright for the "Gardening/Farming Moron" out there, be it you or someone you know. I recommend you pick up a copy of The New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Barthlemew. This book will give you all the tools you need to start your garden NOW, in limited space and with VERY high production. If you consider yourself a prepper and you have limited yard space to literally NO yard, just a patio, you can GARDEN now. Get Heirlooms, garden, and learn to save seeds. The Economic collapse is coming and soon. 104.00 FRN's for a barrel of oil for April Delivery guarantees that food prices are getting ready to skyrocket. This is what being a prepper is about. Also, recent legislation has made it onto the "books" that will remove heirloom varieties from regular stores. Survival seed banks may be the only way you can *get* heirloom seeds.

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  10. I know of many people - myself included - who knew nothing about starting and growing, freezing and canning…. who had huge success with their very first garden. I believe you are doing your readers a dis-service by what you have stated above. My advise is to grow your garden asap and save your heritage seeds - just the money you will save vs the store will be worth it.

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  11. Focus:

    Your advice of starting your garden ASAP, gaining that learning and saving those seeds is exactly what I recommend.

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  12. I had a garden (square foot variety) last summer. Got very little to eat for it, but a lot of learning. Def. go with the square foot method; no worries about amending your soil. I paid $134. for enough of his soil mix to do 2 large boxes. Plenty to practice on and make salads. It's the rythym (how on earth do you spell that?!) of planting and harvesting and checking and watering and watching and even failing that we need to practice.

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  13. Seems to me like people need to get their priorities straight--I think being able to READ is probably a more important survival skill than the ability to store some magic seeds. Can we all just read posts before we go crazy? We are all pro-survival here, why all the bad blood? He clearly championed the good in learning to grow food and having a garden. I totally agree--get your food storage squared first. Planting any sort of reasonable garden takes money, skill, experience, and lots and lots of time. Not only that but circumstances need to be right--if you have limited space at best you'll have a very limited garden. He never said gardening is bad or that food storage will last forever. Of course food storage is limited, but for me I'm going to work on that before getting a garden up and running. Food storage is much more economical for me and as far as the short term goes, its MUCH more stable. Either way, buying some seeds and thinking your doing a good job with your home garden is very very silly.

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  14. Everybody can at least grow something. Get some dirt from outside and 50 cents worth of seeds and try something in a pail. At least there will be some experience gained and part of a meal too. I've been gardening for 3 years now and there will always be more to learn. A big focus for me lately is how to harvest my own seeds properly. That's the key to ongoing self-sustainability

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  15. I agree with you that the survival seeds being pushed are not what you should be spending your money on. I wrote about this last August; that the companies don't provide the variety and number of seeds that one would really need. Think about the people in Japan. They need food now. They are going to be waiting a long time before their survival garden is ready to feed them!

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  16. Do not purchase some guys soil just because he says it's great, learn about it FIRST. Check out Mini Farming $11.50 on Amazon. Learn to do the soil work yourself, and Backyard Homesteading.

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  17. AnonymousJune 08, 2014

    I want to encourage everyone who has a yard, deck or strip of grass along the side of your house to plant things you can eat! I went "Back to Eden" on a 30x30 plot of grass and now have foot high potato plants and the promise of a years worth of tomatoes. I admit I have a can of heirloom seeds in the freezer from my initial panicked entry into prepping days, perhaps next spring I'll see if they are still viable. Check out the movie Backto Eden if you don't know what I'm referring to above. I water once a week at most. God bless ya'll from an old man in the crowded Northeast!

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