When you think of self-sustainability and being able to care for yourself and your family, a lot of things likely come to mind. But there’s a good chance that seed saving isn’t one that you immediately consider. However, it should be.
Seed saving is essentially the process of saving seeds for the future, and little more. However, it is something that has played a huge role in history, and that has recently become more important than ever. Did you know that over the last hundred years, about 94% of seed varieties have been lost for good? The reason is the industrial agricultural revolution.
As industrial agriculture ramped up, it focused on a few key seed types. And as society became more reliant on industrial agriculture and less reliant on their own harvests, many seed varieties vanished.
Saving Your Seeds
So how do you start the process of saving your own seeds? The first step is knowing plants and how they’re pollinated. There are two main types of pollination:
- Self-Pollinated – Self-pollinated plants pollinate themselves, with the process happening with the flowers on a single plant.
- Cross Pollinated – These plants rely on the wind or insects to carry pollen to other flowers to facilitate fertilization.
The basic lifecycle of a plant involves it growing, developing a seed through pollination, and those seeds being dropped to the earth in some way before the plant dies. Your job is simple – harvest the seeds and save them for the next planting year.
In order to harvest seeds, start by collecting them from the plant. Some seeds may be hidden in the fruit or vegetables, others may drop freely. Either way, you’ll start by collecting the seeds. Then remember these tips: Spread the seeds onto a screen or some newspaper in a place with good air circulation and leave it for a few days. Sunshine can help speed up the drying process.
- Store them in cool, dry conditions. Closets or basements are excellent options here.
- Freezing seeds is perfectly acceptable
- Using airtight containers can help prolong seed life. However, remember that peas or beans actually need some air circulation, so don’t store these seeds in airtight conditions.
These basic tips are the foundation of saving your seeds and beginning the process of ensuring that you and your family are able to sustain yourselves throughout the future. Combined with emergency food supplies, this is a perfect way to prepare for anything.