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Seed Savers Exchange


The Independent Patriot

Food Production and Storage

Gold is a great hedge against inflation, but it has no nutritional value. When food is no longer available in the stores, a can of beans in your pantry will be more valuable than an American Eagle in your safe.  A three month supply of canned goods and staples will cost less than an ounce of gold, and provide much more peace of mind.

Food production and storage bring peace of mind. Nothing will make you feel more secure than the ability to grow and store your own food.

There is an old story about a farmer who made the claim that he could sleep when it rained. It may not seem like much of a claim at first, but here is the story behind the claim. This farmer worked hard every day. At the end of the day, he would put his cows in the barn, secure the sheds, cover the hay, and place all of his tools and machinery under cover. If a sudden storm came up at night, he could sleep, knowing that he had taken care of everything before retiring for the evening.

Growing your own food, and knowing how to properly store it, gives you the same peace of mind. In this section, we will discuss all aspects of food production and storage.

Plant Production
Animal Production
Dairy Products
Short-term Food Storage
Long-term Food Storage
Food Preservation
Food Preparation
Household Goods

Plant Production




Commercial fertilizers

Growing seasons

Heirloom Vegetables (versus hybrids and genetically altered vegetables)

Heirloom vegetables come from plants that have been open-pollinated, generally over long periods of time. These are plant varieties that have been in use for generations where the seeds have been saved and passed down within families (or collected by seed banks), hence the term "heirloom." They are not hybrids or genetically altered plants. They are generally better tasting than the varieties available in grocery stores and they can be grwn easily in your own garden. The seeds from heirloom plants will produce healthy offspring that will faithfully bear fruit that is identical to the fruit of the parent plant, as long as care has been taken to avoid cross-pollination. Through careful selection of seeds from plants with the best traits, you can breed or maintain high-quality vegetables over time. (This is not the same as hybridizing or genetic alteration)

Hybrid vegetables result from cross-pollination of plant varieties (much like a mule is the result of cross-breeding between a horse and a donkey). The purpose of a hybrid is to combine the best traits of two open-pollinated plants. Hybrid seeds can provide excellent fruit types in their first generation, but cannot be counted on for future generations. In some cases, second-generation hybrid seeds will be "sterile", producing plants, but no fruit. In other cases, second-generation hybrids will produce fruit, but it will not resemble the fruit of the first generation hybrid plant. (It will usually revert to one or the other of the original cross-bred varieties.) Most of the vegetable seeds (and seedlings) you purchase in local retail outlets are hybrids. The labels should tell you if the seeds are hybrids.

Hybrid seeds are not worth saving for next year's garden and should not be included in a personal seed bank.

Genetically altered vegetables are engineered in laboratories to produce specific traits (such as thick skins on tomatoes to assist in shipping). They are produced by altering a plant's genetic material at the cell level. They are not hybrids and are not the result of natural mutations. Almost all genetically altered plants have patents on their genetic makeup. While these plants may produce certain qualities desired by commercial growers, they are generally less hardy and more prone to disease and infestation, since they have not gained a natural resistance over several seasons in the field. There are also many concerns about the nutritional value of genetically altered vegetables.

The Independent Patriot is even more concerned about the proprietary nature of genetically-altered plants. Their genetic structure, the seeds, and ultimately the plants and vegetables are controlled by the people who own the patents. Those who control the food supply...

Heirloom seeds, on the other hand, are God's work and are readily available to all people without use restrictions or corporate controls (so far).

Heirloom seeds require a cool, dry, dark environment for successful storage. Humidity should be around 10% and seeds should be stored at temperatures below 60 degrees. Once they are properly dried, the best storage would be in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. Most heirloom seeds can last for several years under these conditions. Some seeds (onions, many herbs) are only good for one year.

For more information on heirloom seeds, visit the Seed Savers Exchange.

Books on seed-saving:

Ashworth, Suzanne. "Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Gardeners"
Buy on Amazon - Seed to Seed

Deppe, Carol. "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties"
Buy on Amazon - Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties

Micro production

Family garden

Family farm

Pest control

Starter trays

Green houses



Fruit trees
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Animal Production






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Dairy Products



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Small game



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Short-Term Food Storage

“normal” food

Canned food

Frozen food



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Long-Term Food Storage

Whole grains


Dry milk



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Food Preservation



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Food Preparation


Soy machines

Non-electric kitchen tools
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Propane/white gas

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Household Goods

Cleaning products


Paper goods

Plastic goods

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Advance purchases


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