A Simple Guide to DIY Seed Vaults

It is always a good idea to assemble your own seed vault, as opposed to buying one ready-made. There are several good reasons for this, mostly having to do with the fact that you decide what goes into the seed vault. You can choose the best foods for your needs, your climate, your capacity for growing. Ready-made seed vaults tend to be one-size-fits all, which simply isn’t going to work for every zone.

Picking out the right seeds for your seed vault is up to you. You will of course want to consider your zone and what will work there, as what will supply maximum nutrition for you and your family. It’s also good to include seeds of plants you’ve already grown and had successful harvests from. Perennials are also great to include, so you won’t need to plant year after year, but you’ll want seasonal plants as well so you can save the seeds and plant elsewhere next season if needed. Some medicinal herbs are definitely worth including as well.

Keeping seeds dry and protected from the elements is the key to longevity. You’ll want an airtight, weatherproof container, with impeccably dry seeds. Drying them out in a dehydrator before storing or putting them out in the sun, if you live in a very dry climate and can collect them in the heat of the day, are good options for removing the hydration from the seeds.

For storage, here are two affordable, easy DIY options:

Altoids Tin

Survival Mom gets the credit for this one, with her lengthy article and instructions for saving seeds in general, and why Altoids tins make great seed vaults. They’re compact, discreet, easy to waterproof, and yet have a decent amount of space. You won’t want to rely on this for a full seed vault, unless you’d just like a hand full of crucial seeds in your bug-out bag without taking up too much room. You’ll probably want to put your properly dried seeds in small plastic bags, such as the kind used for jewelry that can be found online or at craft stores (you can also find similar bags at head shops, normally used for illicit substances…)

Rice in containers

Because getting your seeds dry enough to store without them molding or spoiling, this is a great option for larger containers than an Altoid’s tin to guarantee dry seeds. Preparedness Mama (the mom preppers have this subject down, apparently!) has a fantastic guide and tutorial to her DIY seed vault, which explains how the rice is dried out in the oven, then placed in the container with the seeds, for a seed vault that can last up to ten years.

Saving seeds is a very important aspect of long-term survival, and it doesn’t have to cost too much money. Start thinking about what seeds you might want to save today, and one day, you’ll probably be very glad you did!

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