Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ultimate Seed Can - Heirloom Organics Survival Seed Review

Ultimate Seed Can & Heirloom Organics Survival Seed Review

Let’s say you have security, shelter, and water taken care of and a solid bug-in strategy with enough food laid away for six months... then what.  If things go sideways, many arm chair survivalist have visions off heading for the hills and eating wild game every night, however that is an inexperienced and naive plan.  Having the skills for extended long-term subsistence without scavenging requires a lifestyle dedicated to intense training such as you see taught through the Pathfinder School.  I admittedly am still learning, but the vast majority of the US has a hard time cooking pre-prepared food.  The best situation is to take the approach that almost anyone can master... gardening.

Gardening and growing your own food may not be as sexy as discussing the intricacies of defensive/survival products and tactics, however it is just as important and can also be used during any ordinary day of the week. Home gardening has pulled the US through some horrible times so it makes sense to have a variety of long term seeds available as a contingency plan for growing your own food.  I choose survival seed vaults from Heirloom Organics and Ultimate Seed Can because they are two of the few survival seed providers who use the USDA guidelines for long term seed storage.
These days our grocery shelves are overrun by hybrid seeded vegetables and fruits which have been genetically tweaked to be bigger, greener, redder, fruitier, and sweeter. If your survival seed strategy is to pluck out seeds from your favorite fruits and vegetables, changes are they will never germinate. Developers do this for several reasons, however one reason is that you will need to come back to buy their own special hybrid seed each year.

Hybrid vegetables bearing seeds usually not germinate, grow or deliver the plants expected, where “heirloom, Non-GMO, or non-hybrid” seeds can be harvested, replanted, and will self pollinate year after year after year. Non-Hybrid seeds give you the ability to replant over and over again by collecting the seeds. This provides you and your family a sustainable food source which does not require you to know which fungus is edible and which will kill you.  If you have the expectation to harvest seeds for replanting, you must look for the terms Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO (Genetically Modified  Organism), or heirloom varietals.  You will not get all the crazy brocoflower varieties, but you will end up with standard varieties which produce seeds that you can use over and over again.

Enough people have pushed to revitalize the heirloom fruits and vegetables trade that heirloom seeds can be found even in large home improvement centers now, however these seeds are treated differently than long-term “Survival Seed Packs”.  

I certainly recommend picking up packs of heirloom seeds for your yearly home garden only if the package is dated with a best by or packing date. For long-term multi-year seed shortage on the other hand, seeds dropped in a paper envelop and sold are generally stable for only that season.  For long-term multi-year survival seed vaulting, the seeds need to be dried, packaged and then double or triple sealed in container within air and light proof containers to assure freshness and extend life.
Every 1% decrease in seed moisture doubles the storage life.  Ideally, reducing the seed moisture content to no more than 5%-8% and maintaining that range is critical to assuring long-term multi-year storage.  Although the everyday $2 seed envelops you buy are dried, because of the paper packaging, they cannot maintain those low moisture levels for long sitting in a 20% humidity controlled store, or worse, outside in a gardening center. Even if taken and re-dried the damage is done and the life of those seeds has been exponentially shortened. Survival seed vaults on the other hand maximize storage life by drying to the optimal moisture level and then sealing the seed in advanced air and light tight packaging to prevent any change in moisture levels.

The first task to reduce the moisture content of the seeds, but protecting them going forward is the next chore. Like any food stored it should be packaged in a way which prevents exposure to light, reduces rapid temperature swings, and provides an air tight seal.  Both Heirloom Organics and Ultimate Seed Can package their seeds first in tamper resistant re-sealable triple layered foil bags and then in resealable plastic buckets. The seed bags are the primary defense and protection for long term storage and the buckets provide an additional water tight barrier and helps provide an insulation layer to aid in mitigating temperature swings. 
The simple but effective buckets from both Heirloom Organics and Ultimate Seed Can also allow open seeds to be stored back in the bucket with the silica moisture wicking packs to even extend the life of open seeds.  The result of both Heirloom Organics and Ultimate Seed Can following USDA seed storage guidelines is that the seeds can be stored easily four years and longer depending on the seeds and with temperatures below 70 degrees, but remember warmer than freezing but the colder the better.  The seed storage life doubles for every 10 degree F decrease in storage temperature

FUNCTION & FEATURESBoth of the Heirloom Organics and Ultimate Seed Can provide very economical ways to purchase survival seed vaults for back up use as food sources or for yearly gardening.  The seed packets included in each of these seed vaults are high volume far beyond a pinch of seeds you would find in traditional seed packs.  The cost per seed of either of these seed vaults are also far lower for just the yearly gardener so it might be a great idea to pick up an extra. 
The phrase “investment grade seed vaults” has been used by both Heirloom Organics and Ultimate Seed Can.  The suggestion of investing in seeds is a hot topic at the moment.  Some feel heirloom seeds and boxes of .22LR ammo will be the currency the day after a national disaster occurs and I would concur both provide extreme value.  I will stay away from speculation, however I believe it prudent to have additional survival seeds as part of your bug out bags to begin growing food where your land, have some for potential trade, and some intended for use in a garden this spring... after all home gardening in today’s economy may not sound sexy, but it can save you a boatload of cash on your monthly groceries and provide piece of mind if a food limiting disaster should occur.

For those that want more variety and higher quality, both companies offer larger packs.  Ultimate Seed Can also has double seed vaults which double the seeds counts and include additional bonus seeds intended to round out your garden with herbs, aromatics, and additional vegetables.  For those wanting a little more variety over volume, Heirloom Organics provides a more expansive selection of seed bank packs, sizes and varietals to choose from beyond the Family size I selected.

A while back, I had a longer than anticipated gap in my real career in marketing and it was our food storage and backup food reserves which saved us.  For over six months we were able to keep our food budget outlay under $50 a month, so I am convienced that you should have the ability to store and grown your own food.  

This year, the Pandemic household will be creating a small garden in our back yard for food and as a back up food option should “it” hit the fan from a career or catastrophic perspective. Yep we may even do a little canning and expand our food storage to provide use with a food and financial cushion for more than the six months we weathered.  

Both companies have their advantages.  I think the labeling of the Ultimate Seed Can is more comprehensive than the Heirloom Organics, but the Heirloom Organics provides more varietal counts and higher seed counts per dollar.  That said, the Ultimate Seed Can is a Bug Out Bag packable option where as the Heirloom Organics higher seed counts packs are too big for that use but great for home.  Your choice.  Both are great seed vault options for growing your own food today or after the fact and are smart products to have ready and available as a food option. The often underrated Survival Seed Vaults could just be the best money you ever spend on survival gear.

Ultimate Seed Can

  • 6 oz of seed packets
  • 23 Varietals
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Parsnip
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Red Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Romain Lettuce
  • Meon
  • Onion
  • Jalapeno
  • Sweet Pepper
  • Radish
  • Winter Butternut Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Winter Pink Squash
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon
  • Cauliflower
  • Roma Tomato
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Approximately 18,215+ Seeds Total
  • MSRP $99
Heirloom Organics
  • Family Pack (2.7lbs stated) 3.3lbs of seeds as weighted
  • 30 Varietals
  • Beans: Strike Bush
  • Beets: Early Wonder
  • Broccoli: Green Sprouting
  • Brussles Sprouts
  • Cabbage: Golden Acre
  • Cabbage: Red Acre
  • Carrots: Nantes
  • Collards: Vates
  • Corn: Hickory King
  • Cucumber: Marketeer
  • Kale: Blue Scotch
  • Lettuce: Bibb
  • Lettuce: Blk. Seeded Simp.
  • Lettuce: Paris Island
  • Melon: Green Flesh
  • Mustard: Southern Giant
  • Oats
  • Onion: Yel. Sweet Spanish
  • Peas: Alaska
  • Pepper: California Wonder
  • Pumpkin: Small Sugar
  • Radish: Cherry Belle
  • Spinach: Nobel Giant
  • Squash: Grey Zucchini
  • Squash: Waltham Butternut
  • Swiss Chard Fordhook
  • Tomato: Marglobe
  • Turnip: Purple Top
  • Watermelon: Sugar Baby
  • Wheat
  • Approximately 94,000+ Seeds
  • MSRP $149

Ultimate Seed Can

Heirloom Organics

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