Are you saving seeds?

We spend tons of money on guns, ammunition, knives, backpacks and all kinds of things labeled “tactical” – but what about seeds? Many of us that prepare for “bad times” ahead consider gardening an integral part of our systems. Seeds are ultra-inexpensive and readily available most anywhere.

I am not going to get into the whole Heirloom versus Hybrid debate. Why? It’s pointless. Why again? Because most of the vegetables seeds that are available locally are in fact Heirloom. Additionally, in a medium to long term survival situation Hybrid seeds may actually provide some benefit. I do not believe that Hybrid seeds should be looked at with the same “avoid at all costs” as GMO-seeds. This can be discussed in another article on another day.


OK – when it comes to saving  seeds I generally put away Heirloom varieties. I assembled a list of common Heirloom varieties a while back over at and am republishing it below.

Seeds can still be found in local stores and are cheap right now. If gardening is part of your future plans for food gathering go buy some seeds and put them away in a cool, dry place.


Let’s get to the list – feel free to suggest others and I will add them: 


Artichoke, Green Globe 


Asparagus, Mary Washington 


Basil, Greek 


Bean Shell, Bush Dragon’s Tongue Wax

Bean, Bush, Early Bush Italian

Bean, Cannelino

Bean, Gold of Bacau

Bean, Italian Rose

Bean, Lima, Big Mama

Bean, Pole, Green Anellino

Bean, Purple Podded Pole

Bean, Runner, White Half

Bean, Snap, Red Swan

Bean, Triumphe De Farcy Bush

Bean (Pole) Romano

Bean – Harvester Bush Snap

Bean – Kentucky Wonder Pole

Bean – Henderson Bush Lima

Bean – Top Crop Bush Snap

Bean – Cherokee Yellow Wax

Bean – Contender Bush Snap Beans 


Beet, Albino

Beet, Bull’s Blood

Beet, Chioggia

Beets – Detroit Dark Red

Beets – Ruby Queen

Beets Early Wonder 


Broccoli, De Cicco

Broccoli, Green Sprouting Calabrese

Broccoli, Purple Sprouting

Broccoli, Romanesco

Broccoli – Calabrese

Broccoli – Waltham 29


Brussels Sprouts, Catskill

Brussels Sprouts, Long Island


Cabbage, Brunswick

Cabbage, CharlestonWakefield

Cabbage – Copenhagen Market 

Cabbage – Early Jersey Wakefield

Cabbage – Golden Acre

Cabbage – Michihili

Cabbage – Pak Choy White Stem

Cabbage – Red Acre

Cabbage – Savoy 


Cantaloupe, Hales Best Jumbo 


Carrot, Danvers 126 Half Long

Carrot, Touchon

Carrot – Chantenay Red

Carrot – Little Finger

Carrot – Scarlet Nantes

Carrot – Tendersweet 


Cauliflower, Snowball Self-Blanching 


Corn, Country Gentleman

Corn, Golden Bantam

Corn – (Sweet) Golden Beauty 


Cucumber, Lemon

Cucumber, Straight Eight

Cucumber – Boston Pickling

Cucumber: Lemon

Cucumber, National Pickling

Cucumber, Spacemaster Cucumber

Cucumber – Poinsett 76

Cucumber – Marketer

Cucumber – Marketmore 76


Eggplant, Black Beauty

Eggplant, Long Purple 


Lettuce Head – Iceberg

Lettuce – Black Seeded Simpson

Lettuce – Buttercrunch

Lettuce – Salad Bowl Green

Lettuce – Romaine


Onion – Red Creole

Onion – Tokyo Long White

Onion – White Lisbon Bunching 


Pea – Green Arrow

Pea – Mammoth Melting Sugar

Pea – Wando

Pea – Lincoln

Pea – Alaska

Pea – Oregon Giant


Pepper – Hot, Cayenne

Pepper – California Wonder

Pepper – Jalapeno

Pepper – Sweet Banana

Pepper – Grand Bell


Pumpkin – Jack O Lantern

Pumpkin – Small Sugar


Squash – Crookneck

Squash – Straightneck 


Tomato – Delicious
Tomato – Beefsteak
Tomato – Rutgers 


Turnip – Purple Top White Globe


Watermelon – Congo

Watermelon – Charleston Grey

Watermelon – Sugar Baby

Watermelon – Crimson Sweet 


Zucchini – Grey

Zucchini – Dark Green

Zucchini – Black Beauty

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7 thoughts on “Are you saving seeds?”

  1. I have romas, Spanish onions, snow peas and strawberries in. Just how long will a collection of seeds sit on a shelf and still germinate… Are seeds an annual collection process?

  2. Once I tried Tendergreen Burpless cucumbers from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, I never wanted to plant anything else! Amazing taste, tender skin and never bitter. You will not find a better cucumber than this.

  3. Can’t remember where I saw this recommendation, probably Emergency Essentials since that is where I bought the package, but they recommended freezing. I bought a mixed large can, hermetically sealed, from EE. It is currently in my freezer. In addition, I’ve purchased as food stock, bulk baby lima beans, black eyed beans and wheat. I have also vacuum packed packages of these items and frozen them. Hope it works.

  4. BTW, if you are watching the news, today I saw where California has jumped from 25% to 33% of the state is now in serious trouble.

    “How bad is California’s devastating drought? Just in the past week, the percentage of the state identified as being in “exceptional drought”—the most severe category—jumped from a quarter to a third…and as of Tuesday, nearly 77 percent of California was in “extreme drought,” which is just one notch below exceptional drought.”

    Meanwhile, in the “doing my thing” state, “While farmers have seen their irrigation allotments from state and federal water projects cut to near zero, coastal Californians seem oblivious to the browning of their proudly green state.”

    The drought in California may be a long way from the East Coast, but you can bet it’s going to hit us all in the pocket book. So, if you never have gardened, it may be time to start.

  5. Rourke- good list. Hybrid seeds will NOT come up when you plant them. Heirloom seeds will. This can be verified by any gardener. I save our heirloom seeds. I have also stocked up on packets of heirloom seeds and the sealed seed kits from Emergency Essential-they can be kept in the freezer fopr several years.
    Oren-Yes the Calif drought will hit us all. I submitted a post re this a couple of weeks ago.The weather channel today showed that the Calif drought has now hit 95 %. Some areas are
    more severe than others-but the entire state is in a drought.Stock up now on products from Calif . (apricots,olives, almonds, pistachios, etc.)Arlene

  6. Irish 7 IF memory serves me right-smile ! I believe those seeds if kept dry and cool
    (or frozen) will last several years and will provide quite a large garden for an average family.If you grow vegetables from these seeds you can keep the new seeds.There are some exc. books about saving seeds. One good book is The manual of seed saving by Andrea Heistinger. Seed Savers exchage is good also.

  7. I bought a few cans of seeds from Emergency Essentials, too Arlene. That’s it for our seed stock. I am not even sure how many are in there, or if they have an expiration date. I guess I better that out, huh?


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