I just read an article in a newspaper sent to me from California. The article talked about the need to store and grow open pollinated seeds if you plan to stay alive in the coming years. I was surprised by the boldness of the statement. The economy is giving many people good reason to till up their lawns in order to be more self reliant. And, there are a lot of people starting to ask questions regarding open pollinated (or heirloom) seeds.
You can buy open pollinated seeds OR hybrid seeds and there are many pros and cons to both. The biggest most important difference to us right now is that you cannot collect seeds from a hybrid plant and expect to get the same plant again from those seeds. You may not get any plant at all. If you are able to germinate the seeds, it may never produce anything. So if you’re looking for sustainability in your seeds, self-reliance, and perhaps more nutrition, you want to plant seeds that are open pollinated. If the package does not specifically say open-pollinated or heirloom seeds on it, you cannot be sure whether or not the seeds are open-pollinated or hybrid.
If you want higher yields, better looking produce, more disease resistance, than purchase hybrid seeds.
There are many, many seed companies out there. Here are just a few you can use. Many of these companies carry both, some mostly hybrid, others carry only open-pollinated.
Burpee Seed, Park Seed, Gurney Seed,
Mountain Valley Seed, Johnny’s Seed
Victory Seed, Baker Creek Seed, Seeds of Change, Peaceful Valley, Survivalist Seeds
Another thing the article stressed is that canning seeds in a vacuum packed #10 can for use in the future may not be the best idea as seeds need oxygen to stay viable. There could be some truth to that. I know seed sprouting companies say the same thing about their seed. If you pack them in plastic bins, open them once a year and dump them into another bin, then back in the original bin to release bad gases and pick up needed oxygen. Whether or not vacuum packed seeds will be viable in 5 years is an unknown to me. One way to be sure is to plant them NOW and collect the seeds yearly so you will always have a good store of viable seeds. Storing seeds in cool, dark, dry places is best. I store some of my seeds in the refrigerator.