Garden Seeds for Survival

Garden seeds are a crucial component of your survival and preparedness plan. Not only are they crucial for self-sufficiency and growing your own food, but they can also be used as a barter item. 

Last week I started some of our garden plants indoors. This got me thinking about garden seeds and their importance for food security - both for preparedness and for self-sufficiency. During WWI and WWII in Britain, Canada, and the United States, people were encouraged to plant home gardens. Gardening seemed to fall out of favor for a number of years, but interest is growing once again. The COVID Era shutdowns showed us how quickly our supply chain can become disrupted. Even today I see signs in stores warning customers that supply chain issues are making it difficult to stock certain items. With this in mind, it might be a good time for more people to think about putting in a garden or at the very least investing in some quality garden seeds.

When choosing seeds for your garden, especially if you are choosing garden seeds with survival or preparedness in mind, it is important to choose non-GMO, non-hybrid, open-pollenated, heirloom seeds so that they can produce seed for you to use the following year. Having them packaged in mylar or a sealed can for long-term storage is important as well.

A Few Seed Options for Long-term Storage:

Mountain Valley Seed Company Vegetable Garden Can  - This was the first "survival seed can" we purchased. We stuck it in the freezer for several years before opening it to use. Our can has been open for four years and the seeds are still sprouting and growing well. While it only contains 16 plant varieties, each variety was selected for its hardiness and ability to grow in many regions, including those with a short growing season. With a total of over 50,000 seeds, you will have plenty of each variety to plant. We couldn't be more pleased with these seeds. For hardy varieties that fare well, this option can't be beat.

B&KM Farms Jumbo Variety Pack - With 50 varieties and a generous portion of each variety, this is a great option for immediate planting or for emergency/prepper supplies. If you are ever in a situation when you have to plant these to supplement your family's food supply, you will likely be grateful for the variety of plants this pack will add to your diet.

Open Seed Vault 32 Variety Pack  - This is a good in-between package. It has more varieties than the Mountain Valley without having as many as the BK&M package. 

Other Seed Options Not Specifically Packaged for Long Term:

We don't use seeds packaged for long-term storage for everything in our garden. One of my favorite things to do is try out new plant varieties. Whether it is a new winter squash I have not had before, a new variety of tomato, or a completely unfamiliar plant, I like to plant something new in the garden when I can. This year I found a place that has garden huckleberry seeds in stock. I was so excited for these to be one of our new to us varieties to plant.

Other seed companies we have used for quality garden seeds that aren't necessarily packaged for long-term storage are Azure Standard and St. Clare Heirloom Seeds. Both of these carry a variety of heirloom and organic seeds.

Storing Garden Seeds:

Garden seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture. Perhaps one of the best ways to store seeds is to keep each variety in a paper envelope and store the envelopes in a sealed container (such as a glass mason jar or a plastic container). Be sure that there is no condensation in the container as this can damage your seeds.

Keeping the sealed container in a refrigerator will increase their longevity. You can also store your survival garden seeds in the freezer for even greater longevity. We store our Mountain Valley Seed Company Garden Can in the freezer. Their seeds are packaged in heavy mylar bags and then sealed in a can, giving them good protection in low temperatures. We will be packaging seed from our own garden to keep in the freezer this year. I am looking forward to seeing how well they do!

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