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colmustard 07-20-2010 02:22 AM

seed bank?
So i heard pepole talking about seed banks, what do you all think? I have seen some advertized as being non hybrid seeds and what not, but whats the advantage to these seed banks as to just buying seeds and making a regular garden. Just a thought because I would like to make a garden and start canning to save money and eat healther.

TrueNorth 09-13-2010 08:28 PM

Well, I'm not 100% about what you mean by "seed bank". To me it could mean two things: either a storage by you of seeds in your home for future use. Or an actual "bank" like a safe-deposit box of seeds - re: that apacalypse bank of seeds in Greenland thats in the news.

In any case, for a disaster that is long-term canned food and other supplies will run out and you'll need to have renewable resources. You could A: forage, or B: manually create/harvest. Harvesting gives you the advantage of settling down and controlling the food supply, whereas foraging is like eating piece-meal: you may find enough to eat or not.

Storing seeds for the future is a good idea because unless you know in nature where to find edible plants and collect seeds from them, a seed storage gives you a headstart by knowing that you have reliable seed of reliable plants. (Plus you get the choice of the plants instead of finding whatever you can in nature!).

You always want NON-hybrid seeds. hybrids are basically genetically modified seeds that are made by scientists and patented by companies, they are designed fro profit-making and economical harvesting. Hybrids will grow fine, provide food, but are not natural and have some negative effects. Especially when you collect seeds from them at maturity. Hybrids are genetically modifed and produced in factories - if you take seeds from the plant they usually revert to their older genetic code and so they change to a different type of species of whatever you planted!!

Anyhow, there is ALOT of info on hybrids, this is just to give you an idea. But a seed bank in your house is not bad cause it allows you to control a future food supply is you know how to grow them. Non-hybrids are better because they are natural and can grow better in nature.

If you want to start a garden I suggest you go for it, because the time to learn is now before a disaster and not after when you are hungry. It will take some trial and error to get the hang of it. I suggest organic gardening (I'm on tree hugger) but it allows you to grow with as minimal non-natural things as possible, just like the situation would be in a disaster (can't buy fertilizer and pesticides anytime).

A good book is Organic Gardening for the 21st century by John Fedore

TrueNorth 09-13-2010 08:39 PM

oops, I should say that I'm NO tree hugger! I just believe that in a disaster the factory farming that we do now won't work because machinery and man-made pesticide/gorwing techniques won't be feasible. So Organic gardening is back to basics.

Also the mutating seeds I refer to aren't like vampire plants or anyhting funny. I just mean a hybrid is a mix of different plant species like say 2-3 types of apples. A company will take genetic traits from those different apples and artificially create a new species that is the best of all three. Sounds good, except that in the process often the seeds from those new plants are dead seeds they grow once but never again. - if you plant them nothing happens since they are infertile. This is so that a farmer always has to buy new seeds from the factory and can't just regrow crops from the seeds he collects from the plants.

As for the mutation, if hybrid seeds do grow, the genetic code that made it from different plants will try to revert to one of its "parents" because the combination was made by man and is unstable. So the seeds you plant will be from the hybrid plant, but will end up looking like a different plant of a similar species.

colmustard 09-16-2010 07:05 AM

thanks alot for the info truenorth. I was trying to study hybreds myself and also figured that a non-hybrd is best. but were can one buy these non-hybreds?

DrumJunkie 09-16-2010 10:05 AM

About the only hybrid plants around here are ones that my father in law creates. He really is an evil genius:eek:. But he mostly does tree grafting.We keep seeds stashed back of the things that work best here. Being we plant more than one garden every year we keep a good bit of seed around usually. But the stuff (seeds) we buy is usually not a hybrid seed. If you're going to keep seeds that you want to grow yourself then look for the4r best things that grow where you are. There are so many varieties these days it's pretty easy to find the stuff that will work best for you.

We used to have a greenhouse here where we sold plants (vegetables and flowers) and it seemed that some hybrids worked while others didn't at all but where supposed to. I got to talking to some of the older folks around town that have grown for a long time in the area and got stuff that they liked and it went a lot better. The old folks know..Pretty smart for a bunch of people that where stupid as hell when I was 15:o

c3shooter 09-16-2010 02:09 PM

There are a number of non-hybrid seeds you can buy from the regular suppliers. Google "heirloom" seeds.

The really important aspect of non-hybrid seeds- if you save the seeds, they make the same plants next year. Seeds from a Cherokee Purple or Mortgage Lifter tomato will make Cherokee Purples, or Mortgage Lifters. If you save seeds from a Big Boy tomato, you will get cherry tomatoes. Country Gentleman sweet corn is Country Gentleman- but Kandy Corn grows a weed that looks like grass.

Hybrids are a cross between 2 or more varieties, and can revert to one of those in the next generation. Big Boy is a cross between cherry and (I think) Rutger tomatoes.

Advantages of a hybrid? Some are bred for disease resistance, insect resistance, flavor, size, early harvest, etc. The heirlooms do not have those. Me- have some of each, but keep a stock of heirlooms just in case I have to feed the clan in the long run. We have an heirloom beefsteak tomato we have passed around in the family for years. One slice to a sandwich- but they are prone to verticilium wilt, and can only be grown in certain spots.

colmustard 09-16-2010 06:28 PM

some fantastic advice, thanks.:)

TrueNorth 02-12-2011 05:33 AM

I know that I'm reopening a dead thread, but I think that it's a good base to jump off of.

Now that we know non-hybrid seeds are the way to go. What kinds of plant seeds is anyone saving for the future? Are there any special benefits, either nutritionally, or medicinally that you have just in case.

For example: mint is not only good for spicing up desserts, but if you chew on mint sprigs is a home-remedy for an upset stomach.

I know that in a disaster the LAST plant anyone would think of having would be MINT of all things. But if a disaster hits and medicne runs out, and the sudden change in diet from processed food to foraged/hunted all-natural unclean food starts - well, your stomach might complain! It might be good to have a natural fix like mint!

Don't forget to mention your area/climate! - I'm on the pacific coast in BC, temperate rainforest.

CA357 02-12-2011 06:14 AM

Thanks for bumping this. I've been stocking non-hybrid seeds and plan to get more.

CourtJester 02-12-2011 01:33 PM

A true seed back wont be grown/regrown in any open environment. The reason behind a seed bank is to protect the natural seeds from cross pollination with genetically engineered plants. Nearly all of the fruits and vegetables grown in the US have been genetically engineered and organic and non-genetically engineered products are being found to have been cross pollinated with genetically engineered plants.
This is why governments are placing seed banks underground in the North Pole.

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