Saturday, May 10, 2014

How To Store Seeds for years, survival and to save money?

   I was out in the garden bright and early this morning, planting more radishes, spinach and Blue Lake Bush beans. As I was planting, I was thinking of the show, “Revolution”, it’s a show about all power going out all over the world and different groups trying to maneuver to take control of the United States. Now hold on, I wasn't thinking about taking over the USA, I was thinking about how they planted their gardens to survive. How you could keep seeds ready at hand for years to come or even generations? I have written before about the different types of seeds, Heirlooms, Hybrids, GMO and how to collect them but I couldn't recall if I had written on How to Store seeds for years to come, for emergency gardening or just to keep those seeds where your plants did so well?
   Storing survival garden seeds... along with growing an emergency garden is very important for emergency preparedness or a food shortage crisis and also will save you lots of money in the long run! As the value of money decreases, the value of food and vegetable seeds will increase. Vegetable seeds are a major food-source, and should be considered one of the most valuable commodities of all for emergency and survival preparedness, as well!

   The conditions you will need for properly storing survival garden seeds are just the opposite of those required for good germination. Good germination occurs when water and oxygen are present at a favorable temperature. Best seed storage results are obtained when seeds are kept dry (below 8 percent moisture - 4 percent is optimal) and the temperature is kept low (40 degrees or below).

   Storing your seeds properly will achieve the longest life possible. Remember these important factors when storing survival garden seeds:
  1.     .  Constant cool to cold temperature (40 degrees or below)
  2.     Dark place - never in sunlight
  3.     Keep in moisture-proof containers
  4.     The drier the seeds are - the longer they will store

   A 10-year storage life (or more) can be achieved by drying seed to less than 8 percent moisture. To do this, dry seeds at 100 degrees F for six hours. You may do this by - drying your seeds in the sun, with a food dehydrator, or by using a conventional oven. Never use a microwave oven.
  1. Using The Sun: Spread the seed out in the sunlight, use a thermometer, and try to obtain 100 degree temperature for 6 hours.
    Because sunlight is harsh and can easily exceed this temperature, drying in the shade may be a better option if the outside air temperature is approx. 100 degrees.
  2. Food dehydrator: Keep dehydrator setting at 100 degrees F for six hours.
  3. Conventional oven: Keep the oven door open several inches, and make sure the seed is not heated to more than 100 degrees for 6 hours.
Test To See If Seeds Are Dry Enough To Store! These 2 simple methods are an easy way to tell if the seeds have been dried to a proper moisture level of around 8 percent or less.
  1. Longer seeds should snap smartly and cleanly in half when bent.
  2. Wheat, beans, peas, corn and other large seeds should shatter and turn to powder when hit with the head of a hammer.
   Once seeds are completely dry, place them in airtight moisture-proof storage containers. Sealed cans or jars are better for seed storage than plastic bags. A moisture-proof container is one that stores seed safely while submerged in water.  Mark the containers with the seed names and date, and then store them in a cool dark place. If possible, a refrigerator or freezer is an excellent environment for storing survival garden seeds.
   These are really easy simple things to remember when you are trying to save seeds for future generations, for your future consumption and to save money!
Lets Recap:
       1.    Remove any seeds from your garden that you want to keep. Wash and then dry those seeds in the sun for one week. Or you can buy seeds at the end of the season dirt cheap and save them by removing seeds from their vegetable packets and doing the same thing. Make sure to keep them separated so that you know which seeds are from which vegetable.
2.     Heat your oven to 100 degrees. Place your garden seeds and the seeds you have removed from the vegetable packets in the oven for 1 hour. Drying your seeds at this temperature will lengthen the life of your seeds.
3.     Remove your seeds from the oven, and wait for them to cool.
4.     Put your seeds into separate air tight containers.  Label each container so that you know what kinds of seeds are being stored.  Specify which seeds came from your own garden if you want to keep them separate.
5.     Get your containers ready for the freezer. Date each container so that you know when you stored the seeds. Also, add how long the seeds can be stored and still be viable. Seeds from pumpkin, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes and watermelon will last up to five years. Whereas, spinach, carrots, peas, beans and broccoli seeds will only remain viable for up to four years. Onion, corn and lettuce seeds can only be stored for two years.
6.     Remove your seeds from the freezer when you're ready to plant them. Set them aside until they come to room temperature again before using your seeds.

Link Ups:
Farm Girl Friday,

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