How to Start an Emergency Seed Bank

Becoming a more self-sustaining home is something that has been posted here before, but it is a topic I think we should all think more about. What many people do not care to embrace at this point is that not all preppers are fear-mongering, obsessive hoarders. Many are simply families looking to become a little – okay, a lot – less dependent upon the government, a perfect economy and those around them. So many people are suffering mentally, physically and financially because their day-to-day life is a roller coaster based solely on outside forces that they cannot control. This lack of control is what many right now are looking to rid themselves of.

Self-sustainment is one of the best ways to take back control over your life. Imagine not having to hand over a good portion of your paycheck to your local grocery store each week. With a little dirty work, you could be providing a good portion of your family’s food and have a personal emergency seed bank at the same time.

What Is a Doomsday Seed Bank?

When most people think of a seed bank, they immediately jump to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. This is a global effort to preserve plant seeds for use in a large-scale or global crisis. (On that note, if world governments are preparing for global disaster shouldn’t you?) But in the event of a global crisis, how accessible will these seeds really be? They likely will not be handing them out to the average citizen for planting in the backyard. This makes having your own stash of seeds an important thing to consider. And minimal effort is required.

How Do I Start an Emergency Seed Bank?

Start small and simple. If you are not a seasoned gardener, start slowly. Get your family involved in this activity. Don’t forget that for most people, gardening is a hobby. That means it can be an enjoyable and relaxing activity. Look at it from that point of view with an added benefit – being able to provide for your family.

how to store seedsHeirloom seeds are what you want when it comes to starting a doomsday seed bank. Heirloom seeds have grown immensely in popularity over the last 10 years as gardeners and survival enthusiasts have grown concerned with the increasing government and company control over seed distribution. These are cultivars that have been passed down for generations through open pollination. They have not been genetically modified; therefore they have been able to evolve year after year to meet current growing conditions.

Unlike many genetically-modified and hybrid seed varieties currently on the market, the seeds from heirloom plants can be used for the next year’s crop. Many modified cultivars these days may not produce seeds at all or their seeds may not germinate in future plantings. This is what makes heirloom seeds different and desirable. And, they are readily available.

How to Store Seeds

doomsday seed bankFor many, the easiest process is to operate on a rotating system. Most vegetable seeds can be stored at room temperature for up to one year without a loss in germination. This means you save the seeds from this year’s crop for planting next season.

If you would prefer a long-term option, this can easily be done as well. You may get a shelf life of up to 10 years out of your seeds with drying. Dry the seeds at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for six hours. Pack in moisture-proof containers. Store the seeds in a freezer or refrigerator.


Gardening and preparing an emergency seed bank is one of the simplest skills for a beginner prepper to master. No special equipment is involved. The cost is minimal. The fruits of your labor are long-lived and absolutely delicious.

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