Monday, July 9, 2012

LONG TERM SEED STORAGE VAULT SOLUTION, DIY

Recently, I received a gift of seeds.  In preparation for our garden, I need to store them for the time being (as I'll be getting more each month). With the help of your comments and some online research, I found that the 3 most important things are dry, cool, and dark.  I was roaming around in the store the other day and came up with this idea. A one gallon paint bucket (inexpensive at any hardware store), a bag of "Silica Gel" (already had that) and a small flow thru bag of some kind.






Pour some of the silica gel (they are granules) into a bag of some sort.  You could use an old sock, pantyhose, mesh, whatever will hold it in but still allow air to flow through it so that it will do its "moisture absorbing magic".  I used a small muslin bag leftover from a craft project and just tied the bag at the top with some string.













Drop the silica gel filled bag inside the can and that's it. Believe it or not, you are done with the hardest part, LOL.  As you can see, it's very dark inside, so light won't be a problem and with the silica gel, moisture won't be an issue either.  As long as you keep the can in a cool place, you'll have all three things taken care of.











Then just put your seeds inside around the bag, pop the top on and you're good to go.  You'd be surprised how many seed packets you can fit inside a one gallon can.  I would guess it will hold dozens of packets, as neat or as disorganized as you desire.









VOILA!
Seed storage container ready for placement in a cool place.  I haven't labeled this yet but I will.  I was thinking that there could be multiple cans, maybe "vegetable seeds" or "flower seeds"...just divide them up as you see fit and depending on how many packets you have. Heck, you could even sort them by year or maybe store bought vs hand collected or even heirloom.  Another upside?  Pretty storage in your pantry!
Best part of all?
Cool.
Dark.
Dry.



Why save seeds?  Having a farm, or at least a plot of land you can grow on, means that you know you will always be able to provide food for you and your family, even friends and neighbors if necessary.  Part of that is planting the seeds of vegetables and fruits and whatever else you might need to grow and having those seeds in storage could be like having money in the bank...a seed bank!

The one thing we've always wanted to be out there, ultimately of course, is to be self sufficient.  There are many reasons to do this;

It's cheaper to grow your own...
It's healthier and of course better for you...
It's fun to share your bounty with other people...
It tastes AMAZING when compared to store bought...

In these occasionally/often uncertain times, it's a nice way to make sure you are protected against things that could happen.  There could be natural disasters, food shortages, economic problems, disasters that are man made, you just never know.  There is even the ever present potential zombie apocalypse, LOL.


Seriously though, it can't hurt to buy some seeds (non hybrid/non GMO) and store them away. I'm not sure how long these will stay viable, but I've given them the best shot and I'll keep adding to them as I harvest next year's crop, saving some seeds from what we grow for the following year and repeating it every year thereafter.  We never know when we might need them!

15 comments:

kymber said...

in these crazy times, having a seed bank is better than gold. and considering the monsanto-GMO crap that they are selling in stores - ugh - even more important.

are you going to plant anything this year?

your friend,
kymber

kymber said...

sorry - i just had a "duh!" moment...i also meant to say that your seed cans are awesome!!!

Annnightflyer said...

Thats a good idea-I save my coffee cans(the plastic ones),after they are empty and since we found them in different sizes,I use ours for all sorts of pantry items.Anything with a snap on lid or screw lid.By the way we are over here in Abilene :) and we got alot of rain yesterday too!

Bernadine said...

Great idea. I'll have to use it!

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Seeds saving is great. Being prepared for anything is a good thing. At the end of the day, however, it must be added that hopefully those seeds are growing plants by the time we need them for those days you are preparing for. ;0) After all, it takes a bit of time to go from seed to food, my friend! :D

Marcia said...

I store mine in a tupperware in the small refrigerator. Seeds have been viable now for three plus years so far.

Texan said...

ok this is a really great idea! I think I will borrow it! Seeds have varying life spans but most are multiple years when kept properly, as many as 6-10!

Bee Girl said...

Love the paint can idea! I keep our seeds in an old tupperware in the garage. What I do need to do, though, is add some seeds to my Get Outta Dodge emergency kit, just in case the shit ever decides to really hit the fan ;-)

1st Man said...

Ha, it's all good, thank you by the way! Yes and you know what else? If there ever was some sort of national crisis, emergency, I bet seeds could be a great means of bartering. People who don't have seeds saved up might be willing to trade for seeds. Hey, it's a pretty inexpensive insurance policy.

Yes, not this Summer, it's just too hot, no seedling would survive now, but I'm working my garden area and gathering stuff for some raised beds (ala Cloud at the stay @ home gardener and Bee Girl at Sky Minded and ever growing). I will have Fall crops.

1st Man said...

Yes, 100% agree! We are lucky we get an almost regular second growing season as Summer winds down, we have no freezes usually until December. So I'm going to have at least a couple of large raised beds for some Fall crops and I do have some smaller ones in town with a few things growing (see tomorrow's posting!). But yes, my plan is to have them growing and rotating in and out with plants, seeds, seedlings. You are an inspiration for that! I wished I had gotten enough finished before the oppressive heat of Summer hit but I must have faith it's all unfolding as it should, :-)

1st Man said...

That's good to know! I think most seeds will be be better off for longer than we realized huh? Thanks for the info!!

1st Man said...

Thanks! I thought it fit all the criteria and looked somewhat stylish to boot, ha. 6-10 years? Cool! Yeah maybe cans with different years are a good idea, because then we'll know what's newer and older. :-)

1st Man said...

Absolutely! I thought it was kind of neat and "looked" good too, ha. Use away!! ;-)

1st Man said...

Yay for your rain! We ALL need it everywhere. It would be nice if it would just rain all over the country at one time, ha. Coffee cans are a great idea too (and very "green", which I didn't think about. Of course, I was thinking if I buy the paint cans and don't use them for paint, ultimately I'm saving one from the landfill that someone might through away after it was full of old used paint. ;-)

1st Man said...

Thanks! And you know, some seeds in the get outta dodge kit is a great idea. Heck, as I said above too, maybe even for trading and bartering if that was ever necessary. The paint cans are very inexpensive and available in most any hardware store. Thanks for the reminder, I need to work on that "kit" as well.