Saturday, 6 February 2010

Survival Seeds

survival seeds
A couple of weeks ago, Hometown Seeds offered to send me a "Survival Seeds" kit, which contains 16 varieties of open-pollinated vegetables. My initial reaction to this was - "Do I really need more seeds this year?" But as I read and thought more about it, I began to realize that unlike the other seeds I've purchased and intend to grow this year, this kit serves a different purpose.

I am a 32 year old husband and father - old enough to remember the Cold War tensions between Russia and the United States prior to 1990, and young enough (or should I say jaded enough) to be ultra-cynical about what happens on Capital Hill today. I wouldn't consider myself to be a food activist (well, maybe a passive one), but I will admit that all of the headlines of this past decade surrounding terminator genes, genetic engineering, decreasing bio-diversity and patenting life have made me a bit nervous about the security of our world's food supply. It seems that whenever human beings choose to limit the bio-diversity of our crops and animals, the more we put ourselves and our food at risk. It happened to the Irish and their potatoes; will it also happen to Monsanto's Round Up Ready soy beans?

When my survival kit arrived, the first thing I noticed was how tightly sealed and heavy it was- like my own personal ark of veggies. It's somewhat comforting to know that these seeds will last for up to 10 years if kept frozen. Now all that's left to do is to make sure that I preserve enough of this year's harvest to stock our large pantry in case of a real emergency and learn the art of seed saving.

So what do you think? Are we really at risk for a sudden and widespread food catastrophe? Or is all of this talk about "Franken-foods" blown way out of proportion? I can't help but to think about all of those people who built nuclear bomb shelters underneath their homes during the Cold War. Were these people crazy, or just plain realistic?


Robin said...

I think that if we don't take steps to keep genetically modified foods out of our food supply, we are in for a world of hurt. As you've stated BPA was great when it came out; but now we know how bad it can be for us. Twenty years from now, what will we find out about what modified food is doing to us?

angela said...

I believe in hopeing for the best but planning for the worst.
Who knows what the future will teach us.
All I know is that I must do what I can to preserve what i believe in.

carol said...

I bought some extra seeds this year, just in case fewer are available next year. Most seeds will last a few years if properly stored.

Keeping extra stocks of seeds seems rather like keeping an emergency supply of food -- buy plenty of what you use, and rotate the oldest out of stock. If things turn worse, you'll have extra to help your neighbours start growing veg.

Annodear said...

I don't know how at risk we are in the world of modified food crops... but it seems to me that the 'powers that be' today are incredibly short-sighted when it comes to taking care of our lovely planet. Anything that we 'little people' can do that effects our world positively is a good thing.

Annette said...

Thomas, I am 42 and well remember the cold war tensions. being raised by a dad who was special forces, I had in my dorm closet survival gear. If launch had occurred, I was get on 81 and head South to Colorado (best wind patterns in the event of a nuclear winter). My dad would somehow find me along the way. Anyway, I believe the supply is in danger. You mentioned it yourself - study history and look to Ireland.
It's scary.

Myrnie said...

Survival Seeds contacted me, too- I was impressed with the planting instructions! It's a funny product, this survival packet- it assumes you're going from NO garden to "survival" garden. Not many people would be able to garden well enough to support themselves the first year, I think.

I think that no matter what happens, everyone should know how to grow a bit of food, and should have something tucked away for a rainy day. We keep a years' supply of wheat, beans, rice, sugar, oil, oats, etc. here at the house.

Emma said...

I don't think we have any companies doing anything similar in the UK, but it's certainly an interesting idea, especially if people manage to store them properly and replace them (and grow them!) before they epire.