Gardening is one of those essential ideals that everyone who is serious about emergency preparedness and survival should be able to utilize. People should have the fundamental knowledge and skills (such as times to plant and harvest, how to water and irrigate, and what foods grow best in their particular climates), as well as the essential supplies (such as heirloom seeds, basic tools, watering equipment, and gloves) to be able to “dig in”. Equally important is the knowledge of how to preserve that food (such as through canning, drying, slating, and pickling), as well as having the supplies to do so (like jars, lids, dryers, salts and vinegars).
Face it. If you are to someday face an emergency that lasts for more than a year, it will be difficult at best (and impossible at worst) to have enough food stored to last the duration. You will have to have the means to grow your own food, harvest that food, and preserve it for future use during the non-growing seasons.
What are heirloom seeds? Heirloom seeds are generally defined as any garden plant seed that has a history of being a pure, non-hybrid, non-genetically engineered species for at least the past 50 years.
Why use heirloom seeds? While there are several reasons to garden with heirlooms (including flavor and nutrition – see below), the primary reason to use these types of seeds is for the ability to be re-planted. Unlike other seeds, you can gather and re-use the seeds that the heirloom plants produce from year after year. Hybrid or genetically engineered plants generally produce “sterile” seeds, meaning that they cannot grow new plants. You can try and plant them – but you would most likely get very little to grow, especially during each consecutive year.
Did you know…
• Heirlooms taste fantastic. There is a reason kids don’t like vegetables anymore. It’s because all they ever eat is artificially ripened, bland, mealy, grocery store vegetables.
• Heirlooms are more nutritious. Grocery store vegetables are grown in dead soil. They are bred to be pretty, not nutritious. Heirlooms thrive in nutrient-rich soil, and they pack all of that goodness into every bite.
• Heirlooms are tough. Many heirloom varieties have been around for centuries, and over the years they’ve seen diseases come and go. Built-in to their genetic code is the ability to fight off some of these diseases.
• Heirlooms support American farmers. Heirloom seeds are produced by the guy down the street, the lady across town, and people just like you who are working their tails off to make a living.
• Heirlooms are open-pollinated. That means if you harvest seeds from your heirlooms and plant them again, you’ll get the same great stuff in the next generation.
• Genetic diversity of the world’s food crops is depleting at an extraordinary and accelerating rate. The fruits and vegetables being lost are the result of thousands of years of adaptation and selection (creating hybrids and genetically engineered plants) around the world.