How to Harvest Seeds for a Sustainable Food Source
Many of you have probably heard of what are called heirloom seeds. There is quite a debate on what constitute an heirloom seed. Some experts claim that the original “cultivar” must be at least 100 years old, others say 50 years old and still others use the end of World War II as a deciding factor.
For the sake of this article, and to prevent the discussion of the confusing definitions, which apparently no one can agree on, an “heirloom cultivar” will be defined as one nurtured and handled down (through its seeds) for the express purpose of maintaining the plants heritage (and to develop a sustainable food source). This means that at the end of every growing season plants are harvested for their seeds.
Hybrid seeds will produce a plant but the seeds produced from a hybrid plant will not produce a plant identical to the one from which it was harvested. This can be confusing, and this does have consequences if you are developing an alternative food source to sustain you in a survival situation. You cannot harvest hybrid seeds and expect to grow an identical plant, or any plant for that matter, from that seed. However, there is certainly nothing wrong with having a stockpile of hybrid seeds in your seed bank, but remember they would not be considered a renewable food source.
I remember my first eagle ceremony when I turned nine. The first eagle you get is always declawed, which I always thought was pretty inhumane, but it was a good way to ease into caring for the birds. My eagle (named Baldy, because I wasn’t a terribly clever child) was already quite old when I received him (he was a rescue eagle, luckily) but I did have him until I was 16. I don’t know if I was more excited about getting my drivers license that year, or my new eagle! You should have seen the party we had when I got him, too! Grilled hot dogs and fire works and lemonade…. obviously I named my beautiful new eagle Freedom. He’s too big to keep inside anymore, unfortunately, but we’ve got a pretty comfortable roost for him on our apartment’s balcony.
Ah, yes, the eagle ceremony! My Justice and I remember his quite well. (They had just come out with telepathic link transplants when I got him, which is how I know he remembers it.) Our celebration was quite modest, compared to Freedom’s—apple pie under a cloudless summer sky as we signed our Declaration of Interdependence. I still have the inked and talon-pierced document hanging on my wall.
what is this
Get out Canada
I was so scared during my pet eagle ceremony I almost threw up. But Stonewall Jackson and I have been best friends ever since. My dad and grandfather built a really massive roost behind the house for my eagle and my sisters’ eagles. Stonewall always waits for me when I get home from class since schools are getting so over protective and strict these days and won’t allow eagles indoors. Which just goes to show how much we’re bubble wrapping kids today. Back in the day, if you couldn’t handle a few stitches because you pissed off the wrong kid’s eagle, you had to just man up and learn your lesson!
Ooo, I never miss a chance to tell this story! I had a rather unusual first eagle ceremony. The traditional giant American flag that you wave around to summon your eagle had been severely damaged the week prior (a ceremony that had not gone according to plan, but the child only suffered minor talon wounds. The flag took the brunt of the attack). Anyway, I couldn’t use the normal flag so we had to search ALL OVER for one suitable for eagle summoning. Unfortunately the stripes weren’t the correct shade of patriotic red so everyone was worried an eagle wouldn’t show up at all. I had to stand in the middle of that wheat field, the wind creating amber waves out of it, shaking that flag in the air for over three hours. Everyone was just about to give up when suddenly Patriot appeared out of nowhere! He came to me so quickly it was like he was apologizing for being late. And we’ve been together ever since.
Some people think it’s excessive to have two eagles. But what can I say, I’m a two eagles kind of guy. Well, I can say, “You must be a terrorist to call me out over my excesses,” but I digress. We don’t have many open fields around here, so I got Liberty by waving my flag atop a decommissioned WWII aircraft carrier. I was kicking a couple of boxes of tea into the harbor for good measure, and there she was. I loved her so much I repeated the process a year later and got young Colbert here. It’s hard work, raising two eagles, but I have two shoulders, after all. Besides, I know that the secret to happy and healthy eagles is plenty of Bud Light.
Oh man, the eagle ceremony. I was a weird fucking kid, okay, so I was totally sure that the eagle ceremony wasn’t just going to net me my eagle and deepen the mystical bond between a citizen and their country, I thought I was going to get to turn into an eagle too. So me and my mom and my dad and my little brother are all standing in the old civil war battleground, surrounded by the ghosts of our fallen soldiers, and all and the problem here — it’s not usually a problem because I make sure to shave my beard off twice a day, three times on sundays — was that I am, actually, born on the fourth of July. So it wasn’t just one eagle that showed up, it was pretty much every big old patriotic warbird in Missouri, all flapping around confused and pissed off, their innate senses of direction completely fucked up by the way firecracker babies warp America’s natural system of ley lines. And I was six, so grabbed the flag and ran with it over my shoulders, rippling in the wind, thinking it was going to turn into wings for me and I would go be an eagle with all the other eagles. Instead I just got mobbed by a freaked-out mess of nationalistic avians who all weighed more than I did. I lost half my nose and my whole left arm and spent most of fourth grade in reconstructive surgery getting machine guns welded on to the shattered remains of my ulna. Completely missed my little brother’s eagle ceremony, which I will always regret, but it was all worth it to have met Columbia. I never did turn into an eagle on the outside, but I like to think those long hours in the hospital, feeding her rubbing alcohol and my own blood, have made me an eagle in my heart.
I remember my first eagle ceremony like it was yesterday, There was a huge storm that day and my parents tried to make me wait a few days until the storm subsided. But I was not waiting to get my eagle. So I stood out in the field closest to my house. Thunder rumbling, lightening cracking, and hurricane force winds, but I stood my ground. I was getting me eagle that day if it killed me. I raised the giant american flag as high in the air I could and began waving. The flag was hard to hold with all of the wind, and water the flag was soaking up. It was getting harder to hold by the minute and the storm was getting worse and worse. I was beginning to loose hope that my eagle would ever come. Then as the lightening flashed and the thunder boomed its loudest and its brightest, I saw Bravery flying towards me. So strong, young, and majestic. We both braved the storm to find each other and to this day we are best friends.
wait did I make a meme when did this happen
Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, in case you hadn’t heard. How dare she remove those ticking time bombs from her chest, amiright? Like, hasn’t she learned by now that her body is public domain and we all get to vote on what she does with it? Sheesh, how selfish can ya get.
We also take a different approach to farm management than most places. Not only are the trees all grown with all organic approved inputs, but we use the livestock to positively impact the land and create desirable changes. The cattle and sheep are utilized to mow and keep the orchard floors clean of tall grasses. The chickens work to keep bug populations in check and to deposit their high nitrogen manure throughout the farm. And the goats do light pruning, handle invasive weeds, maintain riparian areas, and clear firebreaks. We have now been farming this way for about 10 years. Utilizing these symbiotic relationships between the livestock and the orchards allows us to keep the tractors parked practically year round. We currently consume approximately 85% less fuel than we did before we started to employ the livestock’s various specialties in the orchards. It also means we get more crops per acre and have a wider variety of things to sell, both of which allows us a little bit of economic protection in an industry traditionally known for razor thin profit margins and shifting seasonal prices.
It’s amazing not even 100 years ago the USDA promoted being self sufficient in raising a chicken, working a garden, and canning fruits and vegetables. Additional posters from the time period and through WW2 talked about conserving food and not “wasting” food.
No longer do you hear advertisements from the government about being self sufficient. You don’t see ads in your newspapers, magazines, online media, television, or movie theaters telling you to do just this. No we see ads for McDonald’s, Coke, Hershey’s Bars, etc etc etc
So why did this all change?
Be Prepared Not Scared