It’s a Seedy Situation: Heirloom vs. Hybrids

A pair of hands exploring the seedy distinctions between heirloom and hybrid plants in a hairroom.
So you're ready to start a garden or seed bank, but which do you go with....heirloom or hybrid seeds? Let us help you decide.

In this week’s article we’re going to discuss the simple topic of seeds. One item that all preppers should have in stock are seeds. Most preppers consider food in their preps, and many have nice established gardens and food plots. However, even with an established garden you should still be stocking away some seeds for the just in case situation. Obviously there are a number of natural and man made disasters that could destroy a garden or even cause you to have to abandon your homestead. In these cases the garden is unfortunately a lost cause. This is not to say you shouldn’t maintain one. To the contrary, it can provide you with food right now as well as assist growing your food bank by canning and dehydrating your excess yields. Even so it is critical that you also store away some seeds.

Seeds in hand for heirloom article

A quick note on storing your seeds. I recommend that you also keep a suitable amount of seeds in your Bug out bags. This seems to be an often overlooked item in most lists, but one I think is relatively important. This is especially true if you end up in a no return situation or your primary residence ends up completely lost due to the event.

Heirloom seeds are the old-time variety and have been passed down generation after generation.
Hybrid seeds are essentially lab experiments that cross multiple varieties to create a more abundant yield or other desired outcome.

Many are against any scientific manipulation of foods. I don’t completely fall into that category and in fact in some instances am all for it, however that is beside the point of this article.

When storing seeds you should consider a number of things such as your growing zone, dietary needs and likes, etc.. But, the one thing we want to discuss in this article is the difference (and benefit) of heirloom seeds compared to hybrids. Early on in my prepping days I understood that I needed to put away seeds and quickly ran to the local store and bought a large number of the cheap off the shelf seed packets. All of which were hybrid seeds. At the time I didn’t know there was a difference between the two and had some true catastrophic long term situation occurred I would have been in for a rude surprise come the second season.

The reason for this is because heirloom seeds are open pollinated and you can save the seeds from the plant and replant them with excellent results. Hybrid seeds on the other hand often provide poor and unexpected results when replanted. This reason alone is the primary reason I consider heirloom seeds to be the better choice for a garden and especially for a food storage need.

Fresh produce in a box for heirloom article

Here are a few other reasons you might want to consider heirloom seeds vs. hybrids

  • While a subjective statement most people (myself included) will agree that the taste of an heirloom vegetable is far superior to that of a hybrid. There is just a stronger flavor profile to them.
  • Typically heirlooms will be more nutritious than their hybrid counterparts. This has in great part to do with the commercial need to push for a higher product yield
  • Not as uniformed. Heirlooms will offer more variety in season and harvest. This is great for a home garden as you will not need to harvest all of your plots at once and conversely, the hybrid serves commercial use better in this manner as they want/need just the opposite
seed sprouting photo for heirloom article

Tell us what you think Share with us below your thought on the topic and any tips you have on storing seeds for your food bank.



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