Long-term preparedness is a robust cycle of planning and design.
Many people who work on their individual plans store up and stock food and water in an attempt to create a sustainable lifestyle for a period of time. But one large question remains - What do you do when the food runs out? Seed harvesting and storing is a practice that goes back to the earliest Americans, and is a time-honored tradition, with some seeds passing down from generation to generation within families.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Located in Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed (heirloom) bank located in the Arctic, which functions to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern about 810 miles from the North Pole. Like the best practices of storing food - cool, dark and dry Norway's environment fits the criteria; 'twas the island of Spitsbergen that rendered the least tectonic activity and placed 430ft above the sea nestled in thick ice and snow stands the entrance to the seed vault for the world. Inside the vault seeds remain at −18 °C (0 °F).
The seed vault is a preparedness plan to provide food insurance against a large-scale regional or global crises.
The number one problem with Svalbard's Global Seed Vault is that it is in Norway! Ideal storage conditions aside, Norway itself is an intelligent country - look around and listen, hear that? The world seems to be trembling under our feet, threatening a collapse from a variety of categories. I am starting to see why Norway was willing to fund the construction of the Global Seed Vault. Norway is not alone is seeing the value of storing heirloom seeds. There are many countries that have taken particular interest and sending their seeds to the vault including tens of thousands of samples from the U.S with Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Syria, Columbia sending their unique seeds as well. Notable charities like the Linda and Bill Gates Foundation have helped sustain the Global Seed Vault's plans to be ready for the unexpected.
3 Questions To Ask Regarding Heirloom Seeds
The world around us seems to be preparing for collapse or disaster on a dramatic, large-scale. Svalbard's Global Seed Vault was an action plan that launched only a few years ago (2008). It is only logical that we turn our thoughts and concerns and intellectually ask ourselves if we ought to be creating our own Family Seed Vault?
The process of creating your own Family Seed Vault is quite simple, as long as you purchase the CORRECT seeds. Unfortunately, the cute and colorful seeds at your grocery store will not properly assist you in a long-term crisis. Seeds from your neighborhood store are "designed" as a single-harvest use. The seeds from the harvest will not germinate the next year. If there is a conspiracy here it's probably just to keep you returning to the cash register each season.
Heirloom seeds are just that, seeds that can be taken from the fruit, vegetable or herbs and passed down from generation to generation - providing bountiful harvests year to come. But there are a few key questions to ask when purchasing heirloom seeds from a trusted source.
- What mix of fruits, nuts & vegetables will I need to provide adequate nutrition for the total # of people in our family/group?
- What are the optimal times for planting?
- What types of soil do I currently have, and should I consider raised beds as an option?
Establishing Real Food Insurance
Being able to harvest the seeds from this year's crop in order to plant next year's crop is essential for real food insurance. True heirloom seeds are pure in nature, unlike other types such as hybrids or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). True heirloom seeds are reproduced through open-pollination and can store for 25 years, and longer under Svalbard's conditions.
Provisioning for food independence requires that you have seeds that will render a variety of health benefits from proper nutrition found in herbs, fruits, vegetables & teas and a Family Seed Vault should offer around 20+ varieties of seed to properly consider the nutritional needs for the family.
Gardens can be tilled to an entire acre or be creatively bedded inside the well of an old tire. Regardless the size or the shape, heirloom seeds are one of the fundamental needs for a family's readiness plan.