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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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Seed and Feed-Tempe, AZ

September 14th, 2010

Please join Jim & Kristen Mitchell, Owners of Humble Seed  in a lively discussion about all things Seed to Your plate at the fabulous Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen (www.picazzos.com) in Tempe this Saturday, September 18, 2010 from 11:00am-12:00pm. The Tempe store is located at 440 W. Warner Rd. Suite 101, Tempe, AZ 85284. There will be delicious FREE Appetizers! Also enter to win a Uncle Herb’s Culinary Herb Seed Kit and our garden tote. We hope to see you there!

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Ordering Seed Now Is Important for Tomorrow

June 1st, 2010

Whether the garden season has passed for you to plant your favorite herbs and vegetables or you have not prepared your yard yet for a garden, there’s no better time than the present to buy seeds. That’s right; there’s no better time than the present to buy seeds, even if you’re not ready to plant. Here are four important reasons why you should buy now rather than later.

Seed shortages. Last year’s poor growing season—mostly due to extra wet conditions—may make it difficult now and in the future for gardeners to get seeds such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, and snap peas. When fewer vegetables are grown, fewer seeds can be saved.

Demand for seeds. The poor economy and concerns over chemical use on commercial foods has prompted more people to start their own gardens, thus, more seeds are being sold.

Pre-planning your future garden. Planning a garden takes some prep work. From choosing the perfect garden location for the best sunlight possible to preparing the dirt, and deciding where to plant what, when you take the time to plan your garden ahead of time it will not only alleviate stress but also give you something to look forward to when the time is right for planting. If you’re new to gardening, planning ahead also allows you the opportunity to learn about the herbs and vegetables you want to plant, e.g., planting depth, seed spacing, soil temperature, days to germination, days to maturity, sun, water, etc. Knowing this information ahead of time is extremely helpful when planning out your garden.

Peace of mind. Many people want to know that the foods they’re eating are safe to eat, and growing your own herbs and vegetables is a great way to feel good about what you’re feeding yourself and your family. Another aspect of peace of mind is in knowing that you are equipped to live self-sufficiently in cases of disasters that may deplete our nation’s food supply.

Having a supply of high quality seeds available at any given time is becoming more and more mainstream for many people, as well as being educated on how to successfully grow foods for self-reliance.

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Hot Paper Lantern: Some Like It Hot

May 14th, 2010

 

While some people do not like hot foods others cannot get enough of them, taking on the mantra, “The hotter the better!” If you’re one of those people that like to turn up the heat in the kitchen then consider planting the Hot Paper Lantern in your garden or container gardening scheme. You’ll be able to create hot and flavorful dishes that will put your taste buds to the heat test—the Hot Paper Lantern offers habanero-like qualities, from the flavor to the blistering heat. If cooking and preparing hot pepper dishes is new to you here is a great tip: If your mouth is on fire after eating a hot pepper dish drink milk. Casein, a substance found in dairy products, helps disrupt the burning sensation.

The high-yielding Hot Paper Lantern grows tall and puts on a colorful show in the garden, turning from bright lime green to shades of orange and scarlet red. The slightly wrinkled peppers grow 3-4” long, and this pepper is characterized by its eye-catching, elongated shape. It’s a beauty!

Grilled Corn with Hot Paper Lantern and Mango Butter

Ingredients

  • ¼ to ½ hot paper lantern pepper, trimmed and seeded
  • 1 small mango, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup mango nectar
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ears of corn

Preparation

Add the pepper, mango, mango nectar, and honey to a small saucepan; bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until mango is very soft. Transfer mixture to a food processor; puree until smooth. Strain into a small bowl and allow puree to cool for 30 minutes.

Clean out food processor then add the pepper-mango puree back into processor. Add cilantro, softened butter and salt to food processor then puree ingredients until smooth. Spoon pepper-mango butter into a small bowl then cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until chilled.

Prepare grill for moderate heat. To prepare corn, pull husks back to the base of the stalks, leaving husks attached. Remove corn silk then pull husks back over corn. Tie husks shut with butcher string. Place corn in a large bowl then add cold water. Submerge corn for 10 minutes. Note: Use a plate to keep corn submerged in water.

Drain corn, but do not pat dry. Place corn on the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until corn is tender. Transfer to plates, spread with pepper-mango butter and serve. YIELDS 8

If you would like planting information for the Hot Paper Lantern, check out our seed listings then scroll down to Hot Paper Lantern, and for more information about wonderful chile peppers visit The Chile Pepper Institute (CPI).

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