“There’s something happening here, and what it is, ain’t exactly clear…” Those subtle words of warning from the old Buffalo Springfield song are ringing again in the mind of anyone with the least bit of concern over the government’s steady encroachment of the country’s food supply and production. For years the government has been empowering its agencies and corporate partners to usurp control of food production, culminating in its attempt to codify its authority through the introduction of Senate Bill S501.
Cloaked inside the maze of new regulations and provisions ostensibly targeting food products, is its targeting of seed harvesting and storage. Seeds, as they are now defined by the FDA, are considered food product, and therefore, will fall under the authority of the bill’s regulations.
Working with agriculture conglomerates such as Monsanto, the government has already made significant inroads to creating a seed monopoly that has all but squeezed the small farmers out of seed harvesting and storage. S510 will put the finishing touches on the campaign to control all seed production.
It’s even more disconcerting to witness these developments in light of the government’s current attempts to cast its shadow over the seed industry. We know, for instance, that the government has engaged a systematic process of storing huge quantities of seeds. We also know that Monsanto is continuing to apply government-sanctioned genetic modifications to its seed production that, essentially, neuters the seeds’ capacity to germinate and reproduce themselves.
So, where does this leave the rest of us who seek to increase our own self-sufficiency and protect ourselves against a government-induced inflation of food prices? Certainly, if the world’s governments see the wisdom of creating their own food banks, then it behooves us, as individuals, to do the same.
The critical issue is whether it is even possible to get our hands on enough quantities of open-pollinated seeds since Monsanto has effectively eliminated these from the commercial market place. The second critical issue is having the capability of properly storing the seeds for extended use.
Food survivalists and self-sufficient families need to learn some quick lessons in seed harvesting and storage that will reduce any reliance upon the commercial seed market. The quickest route to getting the upper hand in seed production and storage is by buying quantities of prepackaged, open-pollinated seed strains that can produce future generations of seed harvests. These seeds have been grown and harvested in remote, undetected farms, so their supplies may be limited. The value of these seeds is their ability to reproduce themselves, so a huge supply is not necessary.
Using effective seed-pollination, harvesting and storage methods, it is possible to begin your own seed savings bank that can produce nutrient-dense plant foods in perpetuity.
Pollination is the method by which most crops generate seeds, and self-pollination, as opposed to air-borne or insect, is the most direct and efficient method. The key is to maintain sufficient separation of crop varieties to keep them pure from cross-pollination.
Fruits have always provided their own seeds; however, in order to capture them for storage, it is important to harvest them with deliberate methods for extracting and drying them. Timing is the key, as the seeds should only be removed after the fruit has ripened. The seeds from rotten fruits are of no value.
Many root crops produce their own seeds; however, in order to recover them, it is often necessary to dig up the roots at the end of their season to get to the seeds. If properly stored, the roots can be put back into the ground the next growing season.
Creating a seed bank that will continue to produce, year in and year out, requires proper drying and storage techniques to ensure they remain productive. Dried seeds should be gently rubbed to remove any corrosive material. Seeds that are being stored for replanting the following year can be stored in an envelope, if it is kept in a dry and cool place where it won’t tempt the critters.
While it may not be absolutely clear as to what is happening here, anyone who harbors the desire to grow his own crops for self-sufficiency or survival shouldn’t wait until the perfect storm of government control and corporate monopoly removes all of our capabilities to grow our own food.
Other articles in this issue:
- Fight the Big Drug Companies – Vitamin D and Sunshine as Preventative Medicine 
- The Forecast for the Rest of 2010: Not Good, Says Economist Roubini 
- The Handgun – An Essential Tool for Self-Defense