Have you ever watched a squirrel and noticed how it spends its day? Squirrels are food gatherers and hoarders. They are driven by instinct towards the habitual gathering and storing of food. Their days are spent briskly skirting from one nut to another.
Gray and fox squirrels hide their food in many different places underground, an action that is known as scatter-hoarding. Other types of squirrels, such as red and pine squirrels, dig shallow pits to hide their food, and then conceal the pits with leaves. This is what is known as larder hoarding.
Now, how a squirrel remembers exactly where all its food is hidden remains somewhat of a mystery at best, but they seem to find it when they really need it eventually. Some squirrels are incredibly intelligent and will hide fake nuts to make other animals think that something is buried there – this throws them off track.
Squirrels are not the only “preppers” in the animal kingdom. Wildcats bury small prey, moles stockpile earthworms, and foxes store eggs in shallow holes. Even mice are creative in their food storage and scatter seeds in their nests underground for later use.
It used to be a way of life
For humans, storing food used to be a way of life. In fact, creative food storage and natural food processing were essential to survival for cultures worldwide. In the fridgeless days of the past and before grocery stores, humanity had to work hard for food, preservation, and storage. Meat was smoked, beans were strung to dry, root cellars were dug in the ground, and cold storage may have included foods stored in buckets in rivers or wells.
Today, not only do we not have to hunt and gather our food if we don’t want to, we don’t have to design creative ways to preserve and store our food either. However, some might say that because we are so “spoiled” with technology and the availability of food, we have also become out of touch with the reality that there could be a crisis.
The day could come when there is a real-life food shortage. Whether it stems from an economic crash, a foreign invasion, a civil uprising, or a severe winter storm – food may not always be as readily available as it is now. Part of planning for an emergency involves thinking about how you will feed yourself and your family if food becomes scarce or you can’t leave your home.
Stockpile garden seeds
In a crisis, most people will stay put rather than “bugging out.” What better way to ensure that your family has a supply of fresh and nutritious food than stockpiling garden seeds to grow your own food?
High-quality garden seeds are the perfect emergency food to store. They are take up very little space and provide an abundance of fresh and delicious food. No need to eat canned or boxed food when you can have fresh, right?
Consider starting your stockpile with these easy-to-grow seeds. These 9 vegetable and herb seeds can be grown outdoors or even indoors with good light and the right conditions. Not only that, they will last for years when kept in a cool, dark location.
Kale – Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense crops you can grow in a home garden. This member of the cabbage family is loaded with Vitamins A, K, C, and B6, along with manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Kale seeds germinate quickly in warm soil and sprout within five to eight days. Kale is easy to grow and will keep growing all season as long as you keep harvesting.
Spinach – Spinach is packed with vitamins and is also an excellent source of calcium. Spinach contains CO-Q10, a substance the strengthens muscles. It does best in cool weather and organically-rich soil.
Carrots – Carrots are rich in beta carotene, which the body readily converts to vitamin A. A vitamin that is excellent for eye health. Carrots also help improve digestive and skin health and boost immunity. These seeds are easy to self-sow directly into the garden as soon as the soil is workable in the early spring.
Chives – Chives contain a host of nutrients essential for a healthy diet, including potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins C and A, niacin, folate, riboflavin, and thiamine. Chives grow best in full sun, but they will tolerate some shade. Plant in fertile, well-draining soil or grow as a window herb crop indoors
Basil – Basil is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, along with calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Basil is not just an amazing culinary herb but it can also be used for remedying cuts, wounds, and skin infections. Basil does best in well-drained and moist soil with a neutral pH. Basil grows well in a sunny window indoors and will produce continually when well cared for.
Beet – Beetroot contains vitamins A, C, and B. Not only are beets a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium nut, but they also contain fiber and manganese. The leafy part of the plant is also edible and contains a high amount of vitamins A, C, and B6, along with calcium and iron.
Radish – Radishes are high in potassium and can help generate collagen, which keeps blood vessels healthy. It is also believed that radishes control red blood cell damage and increase oxygen supply to the blood. Radishes are so easy to grow, anyone can be successful. They are one of the quickest edible food crops to sprout and are ready to harvest in as little as 21 days from planting. Radishes prefer cool weather and can be both an early spring and fall crop, depending on where you live.
Cherry Tomato – Cherry tomatoes are not only sweet and delicious but also highly nutritious. They contain many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which is necessary for many bodily functions and can promote health. Tomatoes have been linked to such things as a decreased risk of both stroke and cancer along with increased bone health. Cherry tomatoes are happy in containers planted with rich, well-draining soil and are a great space-saver when grown vertically.
Arugula – If ever a salad should contain anything, it is arugula. This leafy green is top in its class for health-promoting nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and folate. It also contains essential vitamins C, K, and A. Arugula prefers rich and well-draining soil and partial shade in hot climates.
Are you ready to stockpile these great garden seeds and secure food for your family? Click here to learn how you can get started doing just that today with Backyard Vitality’s Seed Vault. Inside you will find enough seeds to grow 2000 pounds of fresh and nutritious food.
Secure your food future today,
-Susan Patterson, Master Gardener and Author