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A Guide To Long-Term Seed Storage

February 20th, 2014

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Seeds are living things. For that reason, you have to treat them as such. Just like any living creature – exposure to too much cold, heat, sunlight – even moisture – can kill their essence. In fact, as a general rule, any 1% increase in moisture can mean seed life is cut in half. Knowing more about long term seed storage will ensure their viability when you need them most, and can guarantee a never-ending food supply.

Remember that the only seed that can produce another fertile seed are non-hybrid or open-pollinated seeds, so be sure your pick has these qualities before you start preparing for long-term seed storage.

Why Try Long Term Seed Storage

For one thing, having a continuous supply of fresh produce is one best investments you can make for your health. Additionally, people from all over the country are making efforts to prepare for the worst. Can you blame them? In an unsteady global economy and food market, and considering the impact of natural and man-made disasters – it’s vital to consider your food supply in an emergency situation. You may want to consider, what you would do if our food supply were cut off? Or if the price of food became unaffordable? Stockpiling cans and dried goods can be lifesaving, but what happens if it runs out?

Here’s how to get started for long term seed storage.

The Three Most Effective Ways To Store Seeds Long-Term

Refrigerating Seeds: This method can prolong seed lifespans. Many seed savers simply place seeds in zip block bags with another fabric or brown paper bag over it to prevent light seeping in and penetrating the seeds. Do keep in mind that depending on the availability of refrigeration in an emergency situation, this method isn’t always dependable. Also, refrigeration exposes seeds to some moisture and can decrease viability. If you do have access to a refrigerator, vacuum sealing seeds and refrigerating combined was found to have one highest rates of germination after 12 months.

Vacuum Sealing Seeds: As we mentioned above, moisture is one of leading reasons seeds deteriorate quickly. Vacuum-sealing ensures seed humidity levels are low and can keep seeds dormant for years. While there is an initial investment in purchasing a vacuum seal-packaging machine, the end result is a reliable method to seed storage, even without refrigeration.

Water Proof Storage Containers And Bags:  Traditional seed packets just won’t cut it in terms of long term seed storage. There is too much risk of exposure to sunlight, humidity, and temperature fluctuation. Re-sealable Mylar® bags and other FDA food safe containers that are air-tight and waterproof can be very reliable in terms of seed storage. Because seeds are dormant and you do not want to activate the seed, store seeds in a dark, cool location.

The Problem With Freezing Seeds: While some seed savers swear by seed storage in a freezer, many are on the fence about freezing seeds. The argument: since seeds absorb and expel moisture in the air, there’s a chance a seed’s moisture level will shift. Freezing seeds can even force seeds to expand, causing the fibers to deteriorate. What do you all think about freezing seeds? Have you tried freezing seeds with success?

***Friends, what are your favorite methods for long term seed storage? What have you tried that worked? What didn’t work***

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease.  We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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Summer Garden Party Ideas and Grilled Garden Pizza Recipe

June 30th, 2011

 

Growing a garden provides numerous benefits that are good for the body and mind: exercise, joy, a form of therapy, and more. From watching seeds sprout into bountiful harvests of homegrown foods to pulling weeds in the wonderful, great outdoors, a garden truly does inspire and cultivate the soul. And it’s the perfect backdrop for a summer garden party that showcases the tastes of summer.

Even though there are boundless opportunities to gather family and friends for good conversations, good fun, and good food, there’s something especially relaxing about a summer garden party. It’s not a big, boisterous party nor does it compare to an excitable holiday celebration. A summer garden party is a delightful, easygoing gathering where the freshest foods can be appreciated and enjoyed al fresco.

Summer’s already here, so why not plan a garden party for you, your family, and friends. Here are some simple, fun ideas:

Drinks – Place drinks such as canned soda, bottled water, canned or bottled beer, and bottled wine in galvanized buckets filled with ice.

Invitations and Keepsakes – Make your invitations fun: attach a piece of paper with all the party details onto a flower or vegetable seed packet. It is a garden party after all! Or send out a garden party Evite. For a keepsake, print out recipes of the dishes you prepare on garden-themed paper then roll them up and tie with a piece of raffia or give each of your garden party guests or couples a small bag containing a few of your garden vegetables.

Menu – The best summer garden parties showcase the flavors of the season, and the great thing about hosting a summer garden party is that you can make it as relaxed or elegant as you’d like. From grilled pizzas loaded with flavorful herbs and vegetables to low and slow barbecued ribs served with a freshly prepared garden succotash, there are endless dishes you can prepare with summer herbs and vegetables.

Music – Theme your music to your menu. Hosting a Louisiana Crawfish Boil? Then celebrate and savor the moments with some traditional Cajun/zydeco music. Serving lemon-butter chicken breasts with rosemary red potatoes and elegant asparagus spears? Then put together a list of your favorite classical songs. Music, at the right volume, relaxes party guests and is a great party enhancer.

Setting – You can pick any location to set up garden party tables: on the lawn near a garden or pool, on the patio, under a couple of trees, etc. Pick your favorite spot!

Silverware – Make whimsical utensil containers using used, washed food cans such as soup or vegetable cans. Remove the labels then paint the outside of the cans with different colors such as tomato red, corn yellow, or basil green. Or visit your local flea market for a variety of mix and match silverware, dish towels from yesteryear (for lining a basket to hold your silverware), or unique vessels for holding silverware.

Table Decorations – Showcase flowers of the season, such as hydrangea or peonies, in simple glass containers such as canning jars or set vases that are overflowing with summer flowers on the tables along with bowls filled with brilliant, bright fruit. Dress the tables with simple natural-colored cotton tablecloths or tablecloths with a colorful butterfly patterns.

Whether you plan a super simple or elegant garden party, make it special by highlighting the foods of summer.

Grilled Garden Pizza

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small red onion, sliced

1 green Yankee Bell Pepper, cored, seeded and sliced

1 medium Yellow Crookneck Squash, halved lengthwise then sliced

1 medium Costata Romanesco Zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced

1 cup prepared pizza sauce

2 (10-inch) prepared pizza crusts

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Fresh Superbo Basil leaves, rolled then sliced into ribbons

Preparation

Prepare grill for medium heat and direct cooking.

In a medium size bowl, combine oil and garlic. Add onion, bell pepper, squash and zucchini to bowl; stir to coat. Place vegetables in a grilling basket then place on grill. Cover and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Stir once or twice during cooking time. Remove vegetable basket from grill.

Top prepared pizza crusts with equal amounts of pizza sauce, cheese and grilled vegetables.

Reduce grilling temperature to medium-low heat. Place pizzas on grill, cover, and cook until cheese is melted and crust is hot, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle pizzas with basil before slicing and serving. SERVES 4

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