Monday, February 23, 2009

Seeds of Change

The voices in my head have been telling me that seeds will soon become very valuable. Fortunately my job allows me the opportunity to acquire heirloom seeds at a reasonable cost.

So I got to thinking. What plants would I want to take with me if I could only pick about 20?

The cultural diets of various areas work together to provide complete nutrition. We wouldn't have survived for tens of thousands of years without certain important plant partners.

The people of the fertile crescent survived happily with wheat, barley, native fruits and the help of animal friends in the form of meat and cheese.
I could eat nice fresh cheese, good whole grain bread and fruit forever. (And maybe some Prosciutto....mmmmmm.)

In the Americas the three sisters were critical; corn, beans and squash. The Anasazi survived for tens of thousands of years with these plants.

Seeds of Change is the heirloom seed company we use at work. The seeds are vacuum packed in resealable plastic packs and have a sell by date of Dec. 2010. I will most likely be either settled or dead by then. I tried to concentrate my purchase to plants that give the most bang(calorically speaking) for the buck. Squashes, root vegetables, grains and beans. When I was ordering the seeds, I tried to get the toughest varieties; the longest keeping squash and carrots, drought and beetle resistant beans, disease resistant tomatos and peppers. I like the weird grains too, because I know they haven't been genetically messed with; Quinoa, amaranth and millet.
I ordered some oil seeds too; safflower and sunflower may both be pressed for cooking/fuel oil.
I didn't buy any greens; they are low in calories and pretty easy to find foraging.

So today I bought seeds. Another prep to cross off the list.

I'd still like herb seeds, but some of my plants (dill, cilantro, parsley, fennel) are getting ready to go to seed so I will probably just collect those and seal them myself.

A few plants I would love to have, but they come in tuber form, not seed form, so don't keep as long. Jerusalem artichoke (aka sunchoke) Yacon, garlic, hops, onions and potatos. Maybe I can barter for them whenever I find my green valley.


  1. Sounds like some good things to put aside for future use. Good choice, my friend!

  2. While I have a nice supply of seeds now, I definately would like to have enough for 10 years worth of planting.

    Time to buy some more with my tax refund when I get it.

  3. Hey Scout, that is the beauty of open pollinated, heirloom varieties. You can save the seed from your plants, and it will make more of the same variety. Don't buy enough for 10 years planting, most seed really only stays viable for about 2 years. Buy enough to plant a big garden one year, and save lots of seeds. It only takes 1 broccoli plant to make around 500 seeds. One tomato (just one fruit, not a whole plant) makes about 100 seeds.
    That many seeds would probably be good for barter initially though. Thanks for stopping by.