Monthly Archives: June, 2014

Why Choose Heirloom Seeds?

By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)

seeds

Before you turn even the first grain of dirt in your backyard garden you have to start with a plan. What are you going to grow? How are you going to arrange your plants? How are you going to combat the pest that will try to eat your garden before your first harvest?

The most important part of planning is deciding what kind of seeds you are going to plant. There are two varieties to choose from, either the modern hybrid varieties or heirlooms. Hybrids are created by crossing two selected varieties, sometimes resulting in vigorous plants that yield more that there heirloom kin. Heirloom vegetables are old-time varieties that are handed down through multiple generations. Heirloom seeds usually cost less than hybrids, but that is not the only reason to choose them.

Lots of breeding programs for modern hybrid seeds have sacrificed taste for production. I have grown modern tomatoes that have produced pound after pound of tasteless fruit that has left me sadly disappointed. But the next year I planted the same heirloom tomato that my grandmother has been planting for years with much better results. The heirloom did not produce the same quantity of fruit but the superior taste more than made up for the loss of production.

It is also believed that the newer hybrid seeds have lost some, if not much, of the nutritional value that the older heirloom vegetables have been providing us for years. It would appear that the breeders of the modern hybrid seeds have been more concerned with production than nutritional value.

As a prepper I prefer heirloom vegetables because they are open-pollinated, which means you can save your seeds. If you save seeds from heirloom vegetables you can replant them next year and be assured that next year’s plant will be just like this year’s plant. However, if you plant seeds saved from hybrid plants you never know what you might get. They may be like their parent plant or they may be quite different.

Another quality is that heirlooms don’t all ripen at the same time. Many commercial growers like hybrids because they all ripen in one fail swoop, however this is not optimum for back yard gardens. As a back yard grower I prefer to have ripened vegetables stretched over a period of time so I can enjoy my fresh harvest over several weeks.

Lastly, I can save seeds from only the best plants and use those to grow next year’s garden. I can then share those seeds with my family and friends. I can get my grandchildren involved in my backyard garden and teach them how to save only seeds from the strongest most productive plants for the next year. We can make memories together growing tasty and nutritious vegetables. When the grand kids get older I can then share my heirloom seeds with them and they will have lots of fun stories to share with their kids as they plant our family heirloom seeds in a garden of their own.

There are several ways to get high quality heirlooms seeds. One of my favorite ways is by trading seeds with other local gardeners. However, if I have to order seeds I usually get them from Bakers Creek Seed Company or the Seed Savers Exchange. Good luck and happy gardening!

Resources:

Bakers Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Seed Savers

Palmetto Prepper

What Kind of Prepper Are You?

By: Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)

kronos

Yesterday while at work I had to attend training on a new time clock system that is being implemented at my job. The new time clock will consist of a biometric scan of your finger along with a fingerprint scan. Of course none of this made me happy. At the end of the training we had to enroll in the system by completing both scans.

Of course I was not happy and voiced my opinion when it was my turn to submit my finger for scans. There was talk about how no matter how many times we were told that the information submitted was secure; we all knew that before we left the training session the NSA along with countless other government agencies would be in custody of the newly scanned information.

Afterwards one of my coworkers asked me … “How can you tell others about the need to prepare without making yourself a target for unwanted visitors in the future if we really have one of those SHTF situations?” He continued to give me a hard time because I have both my Palmetto Prepper Facebook page and this Blog. I did my best to ignore him and went about my business.

Later in the day I really started thinking about what my coworker said. I decided there were really only two types of preppers; the first type being like my coworker, a Paranoid Prepper and the other like myself which is a Pragmatic or Logical Prepper.

A paranoid prepper is someone who is preparing for an event but is scared to let anyone know about it. The paranoid prepper is terrified that his preps will be stolen from him when he needs them most.

However, a pragmatic/logical prepper knows that in a SHTF situation that they will have to share what they have with others and prepares for this situation. I am sure that this is causing many of you to think I am crazy but just take a second and hear me out.

If I am at the local Wal-Mart and talk to some random stranger in line about why I have 25 cans of corn in my buggy and he seems interested in what I have to say, then of course I am going to tell him about his need to be prepared. And if in six months or a year from now we have a SHTF situation; I doubt he is going to say to himself, “I remember talking to this brown-haired man in Wal-Mart and he had lots of extra food. I think he said he lived in the next town over so I am going to go get his food.” That just is not going to happen. And if he did happen to find me some twenty miles away then he would also need to know that I have also bought some extra guns and ammo. There is actually a greater chance that he might buy a few extra cans of food for himself and his family.

What is most likely going to happen is that my son, who thinks I am crazy and is not preparing, is going to show up at my house with his family and need some supplies. What am I to do? Turn down my son and his family or am I going to know this is likely to happen and prepare for that situation.

Another likely situation that will probably occur is that one of my neighbors will need some supplies. How safe would it be for me to turn them down or get into a gun battle with someone from my immediate community who likely has close friends in the area? In that situation we should ban together and help one another; there is safety in numbers. I might be able to give him some needed sugar and he could help me fix my car or assist with hunting and fishing in the area.

I agree that we need to be careful of who knows that we are preppers and limit their ability to find us; but we need to remember that we cannot keep it secret from everyone. We need to be selective who we tell all while we encourage others to prepare for themselves.

So what kind of prepper are you?

Resources:

Palmetto Prepper