What are heirloom seeds?
The word heirloom refers to anything that is useful and valuable to people and families from generation to generation. This could be family owned crockery, gold, silver, stones, furniture, and so on. Heirloom seeds also get their name due to their attribute of being passed down from one generation to the next.
An heirloom seed is usually obtained from certain open-pollinated plants. This way, we can be sure of the ‘parent’ plant passing on their traits to the ‘child’ plant. While there’s no one definition of heirloom seeds or their plants, one can usually affirm that their fruits and flowers are true to their breed. GMO and hybrid plants, on the other hand, use gene-splicing and cross-pollination for hardier and mass-produced plants. These other methods might produce useful produce, but the taste and benefits of heirloom plants are on a higher level.
Along with the better flavor and nutrition, heirloom seeds also provide a less expensive way of growing produce in the long run. They do require more care, especially as many gardeners don’t like to use chemicals while growing heirloom plants, but the results are worth all the effort.
Since heirloom seeds are from plants that have been grown for years and yield healthy and flavourful fruits and veggies, their seeds are rare to find. Tracking authentic heirloom seeds is tricky therefore not only seed companies put a date label on the packet which tells how old the seed is; you can also check for seed companies list and get in touch with some of the safe and reliable companies.
Many times, people mix heirloom seeds with open-pollinated seeds and both the terms will be often used together. However, both are different from each other. An open-pollinated seed is one that can be saved and replanted, giving the same kind of plant again. All heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, but not all open-pollinated seeds are an heirloom.
Heirloom Seeds and Survival
Heirloom seeds are also a must for gardeners who want some options for survival storage and self-sufficiency options. If you get stuck or trapped in an area with little to no food supplies, heirloom seeds could be a lifesaver. This is true whether you have a tiny home or own many acres.
Fortunately, there are seed vaults, seed banks, and several other ways to store heirloom seeds for planting in the long term. These could be small, just enough for a family or individual garden. You can also find some larger options online, which would be able to benefit more people in an emergency.
The best seed vaults for survival would have a variety of seeds from several different areas. This makes them adaptable and able to provide a well-rounded crop.
The Benefits of Using Heirloom Seeds for Survival
When you have heirloom seeds on you, you have the prospect of growing fresh vegetables and fruits for your daily needs. This will help you gain more energy and strength to get through the day. Plus, it would also help to ration the calories of readymade food that you might have in stock.
While there are quite a few options for seed vaults and banks out there, they’re not all equal. In order to make sure that you would get the most use out of your seeds, make sure they have the following qualities:
- The Right Kind: Your heirloom seeks should be open-pollinated, handed down through generations, and generally have the right characteristic to last for a long time.
- Fertility: Unlike the seeds you usually purchase in stores, true heirloom seeds produce vegetables and fruit that have fertile seeds. This means that you may take the seeds from the crops and plant them again. This way, your family could have enough food to last a very long time.
- Quantity: Having just half a pound of quality heirloom seeds could feed a lot of people. This would also depend on having the right amount and quality of soil, access to water, and sunlight.
- Lightweight: There shouldn’t be so many seeds that they’re hard to carry around. You might have to run in an emergency, so make sure the seeds are in small, portable containers that you can grab for future use.
- Long-term Storage: The heirloom seeds should be properly packed in order to retain their fertility. About 5 years is considered average, though it’s only natural that they’ll lose some germination each year.
Now that we’ve covered a little about the benefits and qualities of heirloom seeds for survival, let’s have a look at some of the options available:
You don’t need just food and water to survive, but also something to treat various illnesses. With this seed kit, you can grow a medicinal herb garden when there’s limited access to hospitals and clinics.
The herbs from this garden are known for their immune system-boosting and antibiotic benefits. You get the seeds in frozen capsules form which is easy to carry and store- you can plant now or save these beneficial seeds for years. The seeds are easy to grow within most regions.
There are about six varieties of herb seeds here, including Yellow Rocket, Wormwood, Woad, Willowherb, Wild Strawberry, and Wild Lettuce Seeds. If you’re not well-versed in planting it’s not a problem because at the back of the package is a detailed germination and growing guide that you can refer to anytime.
The Survival Essentials 144 seeds are packaged in a superior ammo can. This guarantees that they’re suitable for longterm storage. It’s one of the most complete seek banks you can find on the market. No matter where you are in the United States, these seeds can easily help you start a garden.
With this seed vault, you’ll also be able to survive most catastrophes. There are even some rare tomato heirloom options, along with fruit seeds and seeds for medicinal plus culinary herbs.
You’ll also get some instructions by Suzanne Ashworth, who is a world-renowned horticulturist. With her guidelines, you can store the seeds in the proper manner and make them last for up to a decade.
This option is a 32 variety pack especially geared towards vegetables. They’re naturally grown seeds with open pollination and a high germination rate.
The whole collection is stored in an airtight resealable bag that will prevent any moisture getting in. This ensures safer and long term storage. Hopefully, you’ll be able to grow enough vegetables from this package to provide you with the necessary nutrients and vitamins.
This heirloom seed bank also contains non-GMO, non-hybrid, and open-pollinated seeds that are a hundred percent natural. You get about 55 strains here for vegetable seeds and about 15,000 seeds in total.
Each pant that comes from these seeds will provide you with more heirloom seeds in turn. This way, you have viable seeds for more growing, thus assuring survival for some time.
This package contains about 16,500 seeds, which should be enough for a very large group. There are about 40 non-GMO strains here, all guaranteed for a high germination rate. There’s also a handy instruction booklet included, with 48 pages and colored illustrations. What’s more, there’s a small pair of trimming scissors for gardening in the package as well.
There are some complaints about the quality of certain seeds, but the customer service has glowing reviews. You should try some of these out before storage and report back if there’s an issue.
Here are some great options for specific varieties of authentic heirloom seeds:
Heirloom Fruits and Vegetable Seeds
Plant these hand-packed radish seeds every two weeks for a continuous bountiful harvest. This variety is ideal to be planted before the month of June and you can resume planting in September. Just ½ cup of this radish and you will already get 15 mg of pure and organic vitamin C! Aside from vitamins, radish seed is also loaded with antioxidant that keeps your cells protected against harmful free radicals. This is perfect for soups and salads.
This variety box contains ten different seeds from Monticello. All the seeds are packed in a glass-lidded, cedar box which can be reused to store the seeds and retain their flavour and freshness. Some of the seeds included in this variety pack include yellow pear tomato, cayenne pepper, white lettuce, Early Curled Siberian Kale, White Eggplant and Long Green Improved Cucumber
What’s more joyful than using your garden grown sweet and tender pea. Early Alaska Heirloom pea seeds are easy to grow and yield quicker in cold weather. Best peas can be witnessed when planted in a crowded environment or short trellis.
Now you can get fresh, green, and leafy baby bok choy seeds packed in an easy-to-open seed envelope. This heirloom Asian vegetable favorite is rich in vitamins and nutrients and gives high germination results so even beginners can easily try them out. This is a great gift for those people who want to try gardening and live a healthier lifestyle.
Imagine having sweet corns in every meal from your own garden that too in almost 75 days. Yes, that’s very much possible with Truckers yellow corn seeds. These seeds are resistant to heat, corn earworms, disease and come in resealable foil packaging to last long.
Nothing beats the fragrance of garden fresh green peppers, which you can witness yourself with these organic pepper seeds by Seedz. Although these seeds have a high germination rate, the packet comes with clear instructions so that you know how to sow and get your preferred green or red peppers.
If you are fond of leafy salads and soups, get your hands on these mustard green seeds by Country Creek Acres. One packet contains about 100 seeds and all seeds are organic and GMO-free, full of fibre, nutrients and taste. For best results, sow these seeds in warm soil and in an open space such as garden.
These Everglades tomato seeds will give you blueberry sized juicy and flavourful tomatoes which can easily be stored for the whole year. These seeds are easy to plant, yield guaranteed results, however, take time and patience is the key to having them in your grown in your garden.
Now you can plant sweet and hot peppers in your garden to make delicious and nutritious salads, gravies and pasta anytime in the year. Grow a variety of peppers with these non-GMO, open-pollinated, heirloom seeds that have a high germination rate and can be saved for replantation. The pack includes four sweet and four hot pepper seeds.
Heirloom flower seeds
These bright and beautiful yellow flowers can now be part of your garden with these organic heirloom seeds by YUXUSUS. Easy to sow and quick in growth, these seeds give blooming flowers any time of the year.
Fill your garden with these dark red, velvety tea roses not just in spring but throughout the year. This hybrid tea rose seeds by Heirloom roses are disease and virus free, with a signature fragrance and blooming petals that will embellish your house.
Sow Right Seeds present non-GMO heirloom seeds that are fun and easy to plant. With more than hundred blossoms per plant, these seeds are pollinator friendly, hence will be loved by butterflies and bees, giving your garden a whole new spring appearance.
Using fruits and vegetables from your own garden have plenty of benefits and heirloom seeds are definitely a better choice than any other seeds. Planting heirloom seeds is not only adventurous but also a step towards making your food delicious, healthy and nutritious. Unlike the store-bought seeds, Heirloom seeds ripen evenly, giving you fresh fruits and vegetables consistently. Heirloom seeds are economical and open-pollinated seeds can be replanted, cutting your cost and time of buying new seeds every time.
If you have experience of planting heirloom seeds, do share your experience with us and help others be better gardeners.