I get asked this question a lot.
How long will seeds stay good for?
I have pondered the reason I am asked this question and I believe I know most people’s reason for asking? They have a genuine concern not to waste their money. They firmly believe they will not likely use these seeds for a long time or ever. So they don’t want to speed the $25-$35 dollars on something they may never use. The way they are thinking about it is truly a valid concern. So how can I help change that mindset and help people want to buy and store seeds?
Well I need people to understand why I store seeds and then help them figure out a way to extend the life of the seeds they store.
First, the reason I store seeds.
I am a firm believer that there will come a time that I can’t buy seeds to plant. With that being the case and having read the scriptures and the words of both ancient and modern prophets and I believe them both. Let’s look at a few examples.
Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 reads,
I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 reads,
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
Brigham Young said,
“My faith does not lead me to think the Lord will provide us with roast pigs, bread already buttered, etc.; he will give us the ability to raise the grain, to obtain the fruits of the earth, to make habitations, to procure a few boards to make a box, and when harvest comes, giving us the grain, it is for us to preserve it—to save the wheat until we have one, two, five, or seven years’ provisions on hand…” (Teachings of Brigham young, chapter 31, Thrift, industry and self reliance”)
So what does this have to do with putting away seeds, I believe that if I put away seeds no matter how old they get, I can petition the Lord to help them grow, as I have been obedient in my faith in him to store them up. However I would be very, very hesitant to petition him for something I know I could have, and should have, done for myself. Remember the Lord example of feeding the 5000, he started with some bread and fishes, not from nothing.
Now point #2 seeds like to stay dry until needed. I buy seeds and have added oxygen absorbers to #10 cans and sealed them up. What I am going to be doing from now on is buy the seeds for the vegetables that my family and I like to eat and place them in 2 quart jars and suck all of the air out of them with my food saver and jar attachment. Then next year I will buy the same seeds to place in the jars and I will use the seeds I have stored. This way my seeds are only a year old.
Let me share something I have learned. I have planted seeds in 1999 that my father had left over when he planted our garden in 1976. We found them in a box not sealed in any jar or can but they we’re kept dry on a cupboard shelf. Most of the seeds germinated. The ratio was around 1 of 3. Some seed types all germinated. I did not pray over those seeds as I probably should have. I do know however if the time comes my Father-in-Heaven can, and most likely, will bless them to grow if I have been obedient and stored those seeds.
Well that is the long and short of it! Why should you store seeds? For the same reason some of the virgins should have been prepared with more oil!
Faith and Obedience, what better reason is there than these!