A survival seed bank is a store of seeds used as a source for planting in case seed reserves elsewhere are destroyed or unavailable. The reasons for storing seeds may be varied. In the case of food crops, many useful plants that were developed over centuries are now no longer used for commercial agricultural production and are becoming rare. Storing seeds also guards against catastrophic events like natural disasters, outbreaks of disease, or war.
Depending on what product you order the outward appearance and packaging my vary, however all of our seed banks are sealed in a UV and oxygen resistant Mylar pouch. This pouch may further be protected by an outer sealed plastic vault. Contained within the Mylar pouch will be 30 or more smaller resealable bags which hold our specifically chosen seed varieties. See the picture below for more detail.
The terms heirloom and heritage are synonymous. An heirloom plant is an open-pollinated, cultivated plant, or cultivar. Heirloom plants are not used in modern large-scale agricultural, but they were traditionally grown during earlier periods in human history. All heirloom seed are open-pollinated.
Open-pollinated plants are pollinated by birds, insects, wind, or other natural means. Under these conditions the plant will produce seeds naturally. When these seeds are harvested and re-planted they will reproduce the same plant as the parent. Conversely, a hybrid plant is the result of controlled pollination of inbred parent plants. The plant’s seeds are often sterile and, if they do germinate, they will not reliably produce the same plant as the parent or the yields.
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic substance has been changed using genetic engineering methods. Non-GMO seeds have not been genetically changed, and they are traditionally the same as they were originally created. Non-GMO seeds have all of the nutrition that animal and human bodies need for maximum growth and nutrition. Traditional seeds grow into plants that have been consumed for thousands of years. Non-GMO seeds offer you the peace of mind that the foods you grow and eat are as nature intended.
Seeds need to be stored in environmentally controlled conditions in order to ensure optimum germination. Seeds bought off-the-rack from your local stores are often displayed outside and exposed to the elements. These conditions may affect the ability for the seeds to germinate.
Our survival seed banks are stored in environmentally controlled conditions up to the point of shipping. Before being shipped, seeds are packaged in Mylar® bags which provide great seed protection, as well as the opportunity to plant now or later.
There really is no definable limit, as was recently proven in Israel with the successful germination in 2005 of a 2,000 year old seed of the extinct Judean Date Palm that came from an archeological dig at King Herod’s palace near the Dead Sea. In 1978, a 12,000 year old Lotus seed discovered in a dry lake bed in China was also successfully germinated, which prior to the Date Palm was the world’s oldest successfully germinated seed. More recently, the Millennium Seed Bank successfully germinated three species of plants from 200 year old seeds. Recently (February 2012) Russian scientist announced they had regenerated a narrow leaf campion (Silene stenophylla) from a 32,000 year old seed. The seed was found in a burrow 124 feet under Siberian permafrost along with 800,000 other seeds. Seed tissue was grown in test tubes until it could be transplanted to soil. This shows how long DNA can be viable in the proper conditions.