• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Mylar bags for long-term seed storage

 
Nancy Troutman
Pie
Posts: 185
Location: Swanton, MD
11
books food preservation goat hugelkultur tiny house toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have purchased Mylar bags with the intentions of long term seed storage of my own seeds.   That way if 2017 is a total failure crop wise for one, or all of my crops, I have 2016 seeds to use in 2018.

I got the idea for Mylar bags from viewing commercials of Heirloom Seeds meant for long term storage in case of SHTF scenarios.   Along with my bags came oxygen absorbers and desiccants. 

Has anyone purchased any of the Heirloom seeds meant for long term storage?   Are either oxygen absorber packets or desiccant packets included with the seeds?  Are the seeds vacuum packed?  Any information on the techniques the Heirloom Seed manufacturers use to prepare the seeds for long term storage would be appreciated.
 
R Ranson
master steward
Pie
Posts: 3470
Location: Left Coast Canada
387
books chicken tiny house toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Carol Deppe sells seeds prepared for long term storage.  They came in a plastic ziplock bag and I stuck them in the freezer as instructed.  In The Resilient Gardener, Deppe mentions that the most important thing for long term storage is starting with dry enough seeds. 

I don't know anything about mylar except if I make a hat with it keeps the aliens from reading my thoughts?  Or is that tinfoil?  Either way, I'm curious if anyone else has had success with it.
 
Nancy Troutman
Pie
Posts: 185
Location: Swanton, MD
11
books food preservation goat hugelkultur tiny house toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
R Ranson wrote:Carol Deppe sells seeds prepared for long term storage.  They came in a plastic ziplock bag and I stuck them in the freezer as instructed.  In The Resilient Gardener, Deppe mentions that the most important thing for long term storage is starting with dry enough seeds. 

I don't know anything about mylar except if I make a hat with it keeps the aliens from reading my thoughts?  Or is that tinfoil?  Either way, I'm curious if anyone else has had success with it.


Freezer is not an option for me, but the fact that the seeds need to be extremely dry is noteworthy.   It would appear then that the dessicant would be useful.  I could store the seeds in my barn where they would freeze.   But we generally "freeze, thaw, repeat" from about September through May.  I am thinking that the up and down temperatures would be bad on the seed.   Also, what about warm weather crops?  Do you freeze those too?

Permies.com needs a forum on how to avoid FBI/CIA mind taps.   Or at the very least, how to take advantage of all that hot air produced in Washington DC in the winter.   It has to beat even the rocket stove for heat.
 
R Ranson
master steward
Pie
Posts: 3470
Location: Left Coast Canada
387
books chicken tiny house toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't have a lot of personal experience here.  For most of my life, I just used paper envelopes at room temp.  Lettuce seeds kept 5 years, everything else I've never had a problem with except the peas I planted last year that were harvested in '79, only one of them germinated.  The last 3 or 4 years I've been much more intensely seed saving and bulking up my supply.  In a few years I hope to move and when I do, I want to have enough seed from each staple crop to grow a year's worth of calories (from each crop).  I dream.  I've been saving big glass jars from the local restaurant, washing them out then packing my very dry seeds in them. I put the seeds in the sun for a few hours and if there is any moisture inside the jar, then I promptly take the seeds out and dry them some more.  When that's ready, I pop mine in the freezer for a few days to kill any bugs. I don't know if this does any good, but it makes me feel better.


Going from what Deppe says and what I've read in other places the most important thing about long term seed saving is dryness of the seed.  Deppe even uses a dehydrator set to 90F (I THINK) for several hours or even a couple of days. 

Coolness, I think is the second thing.  I don't know why the freezer is so popular.  I'm actually trying to move away from this gadget as it's seems to be a frail way to keep food as it depends on constant electricity.  From memory, Deppe mentions the freezer but also says it's not necessary if the seeds are dry enough to be dormant.

That's the neat things about seeds.  They don't look it but they are alive in there.  The more moisture they have the more they convert something into something else and some third thing I also can't remember off hand.  The point is, they are actively doing things inside which I think is extremely nifty.  Being dry slows this down.

The third thing they mention that degrades seed is light.  I think mylar bags would help with this.


I don't know about desiccants.  I'm a cheap scape and don't like having to depend on outside sources to buy things from.  I haven't looked into desiccants because I think I can do almost as well without it.  I also want to keep my seeds that can be eaten the way I keep them if I was eating them.  That way if I want to discover if my snow pea seeds taste any good as dry soup peas, I can fish out a bunch and give them a try.


Then again, I also want to create a long-term seed bank (or three, so I can stash them at friend's homes) so maybe I should be learning more about mylar and desiccants.  It might be worth experimenting with.   If I was only keeping them a handful of years, no problem, but it sure would be nice to have something I can turn to if I loose everything 10 years from now, I'll at least have enough seeds to start again.
 
Nancy Troutman
Pie
Posts: 185
Location: Swanton, MD
11
books food preservation goat hugelkultur tiny house toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Ransom

I love the idea of the food dehydrator to prepare seeds.

What about mylar bags, inside a glass jar, buried?   That would keep them cool at a fairly even temperature.   Mylar bags should protect against moisture as well as light.

It is with long-term seed storage in mind that I am going for.   I might be paranoid, but I would feel more safe if I had seeds on hand instead of needing to purchase them.   Between Monsanto and concerns about the economy going south, I would rather have them and not need them - than need them and not have them.
 
Emily Smith
Posts: 55
Location: West Central Georgia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our food dehydrator has sizeable holes in the trays; how would that work with seeds?  The only thing that comes to mind is paper towels, since they may still allow air flow...
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 815
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
45
forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Isn't there a standard dehydrator accessory that is used for making fruit leather? I think it's a very fine mesh that can hold a pureed fruit paste. I imagine that would be able to accommodate even the smallest seeds.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 392
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
13
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hey... i just read this about how oxygen absorbers work:

http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/survival-basics-oxygen-absorbers/


have a nice sunday
tobias
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know which desiccant they are using, but there is concern if it is the one commonly used in the U.S.

Please see https://permies.com/forums/posts/list/57387#484615 for a discussion regarding this.

 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic