"Preston writes: Hi I budgeted some of your seeds last year and have great success with them. I didn't end up planting the flint corn last year but want to this year, but also want to plant some sweet corn. I'm worried about cross pollination because I want to save back some of flint corn for seed. Do you think if I wait twenty days after I plant your flint corn it would keep them from mixing? Thank you again, Preston. "
Hello Preston, Corn does easily cross pollinate. If seed saving is your goal, I would not plant flint corn and sweet corn the same year. Happy Gardening, Nan
"This year 2020 I put in my first small garden. I purchased some starter plants and some seeds. Then I remembered I had purchased your survival seeds in 2009. They outdid all of the other plants. I used only two of your varieties, pumpkin and French Horticulture Beans. They both have taken over the rest of the garden. My pumpkins survived squash vine borers (with my help), people can't believe these pumpkins taking over my entire yard are ELEVEN years old! I have eight good sized pumpkins (deer got two) and I expect there will be even more. Great seeds! "
Thank you Jamie for the fantastic testimonial!
"What do you use to keep cabbage worms away? Your cabbage is really nice and clean looking. I am in Ohio and they are like plague here. Yes, I can pick the worms off and the birds love them. I get the eggs of course and I like doing this it is part of gardening. There is BT and I have made some home brewed pesticides with some success. I usually have to cover my cabbage with netting but some worms still sneak in. Nice looking garden. Also I have bought a few of your products over the years and they are excellent. I just purchased a little corn from you today. Have a great season. Have always got your name from JWR site."
Oh yes, I am very familiar with cabbage worms. I check my garden every day and when I first notice them I spay with Neem Oil. It is an organic pesticide and it is very effective. Thank you for your kind words. It is always nice to hear from a fellow gardener.
"This is the first year I planted your flint corn, it did wonderful in Eastern Washington. I left it on the stock until the middle of November. I wanted to get it in earlier but just could not. By the time I did pick it, our sunshine/sunny days were gone. I put the corn, on the cob, in burlap sacks and hung it in the garage, hoping it would further dry. I took some corn off the stock in October for decorations and brought them into the house. The corn that we brought in the house dented. The corn that is hanging has not dented yet and seems more moist if I try eating a kernel. It is hard but not as hard as the dented corn that was brought into the house. I ground some of the corn on Thanksgiving and it turned out wonderful! Both the corn I used for decoration and the corn I had hung in the garage ground well using my country Living mill. Anyways, I am unsure if the corn in the garage has sufficiently dried yet. How might I be able to tell for sure? Thanks!"
So happy our flint corn grew well for you! It is very reliable! To dry our corn it needs to be open to the air. Dry it on wire racks so air can get to all sides of the ear. You will know when it is dry enough to store when a kernel smashed on concrete with a hammer shatters. If it is mushy at all it needs to be dried further.
"Greetings! Wanted to write and let you know I am very happy with the great seeds you sent. In my book there is nothing as excellent as purchasing a top self product, and your product is first rate. Appreciate your planting directions and growing info also. The care and effort you all put into this shows. You have a permanent customer for life here. Will be purchasing a few more of your seed in the near future. Please keep up the great work. Look forward to growing and harvesting some toothsome garden delicacies next year!"
"I wanted to let you know I LOVE the quality of seeds I received from you, Probably the best germination I have seen, everything is great. Been gardening for most of my life and the high quality seeds from you guys is bar none the best investment I have made in the garden, It is enough to get a solid large garden going for not very much money, I will be recommending it to all my family friends and clients."
"Hi Nan, I bought your seeds a few years ago and then did not use them because of a time out from gardening. But now we are getting up and going again, and I realized that I always brought you up in conversation over the last 4 years bragging about your way of doing things... how you were the only folks who seemed to have a practical handle on the big picture. I thought I would tell you that... that I have just always been intrigued by your system. I will be pulling out your seeds, so that is going to be fun!"
"Love the Colossal Seed Pack I got from you. Still can not believe I got that many seeds at such a remarkable price. Thanks again, God Bless and keep it up. I will be referring anyone who comes to me looking for high quality survival seeds."
"It has been almost three years since we last corresponded, but we have been enjoying your seeds through the past three summers (I ordered quite a few, and we have finally used them up). We live near the Vermont border and thought you might like to know that your seeds thrive here. Your Indian corn reached 9 feet and we had quite a few baskets of colorful ears. The pumpkins were also huge and we still have quite a few in the root cellar. The only problem is the wildlife around here-- the deer, racoons, and groudhogs are a constant threat. We plan to fence most of our property and hope that will help."
"Good morning. We received our order just the other day and we are extremely happy with it. We ordered the Garden Security Collection. We plan on ordering several more packs, as our budget permits, for ourselves and possibly for bartering if necessary. My question is in regard to the directions that are included. Are there planting instructions on the packets themselves? I am going to put the directions in a zip lock bag and tape them to the Mylar pack but I was curious about whether the same directions were on the individual packets. Thanks for your help. Have a great day."
I am very pleased that you are happy with your order. Yes, there are planting instructions for each variety printed on the packets. These include seed sowing, spacing, plant requirements,and maturity estimates. For peppers and tomatoes I have printed detailed instruction on starting the plants indoors. Also there is a Seed Planting Direction Guide inside of your pouch. This is a copy of the one that you received with your order.
"If these (seeds in vapor proof pouches) are immediately placed in the freezer, what is the optimum time they could be kept and still get a good germination rate?"
According to Suzanne Ashworth in her book - Seed to Seed - "Seeds of all species can be stored for many years with almost no loss of germination, when dried to about 8% seed moisture,sealed in an airtight container and frozen. Seed stored using these techniques will maintain their viability for up to ten times longer than normal germination rates. A quick and easy test is that seeds will break instead of bending when folded, if their moisture is 8% or less. Also hard shell seeds, such as corn or beans, will shatter instead of mashing when placed on concrete and struck with a hammer. When retrieving seeds from frozen storage, always allow the sealed jar (or heat sealed pouch) to reach room temperature before opening. When taking seeds from the container, reseal the jar or moisture proof pouch quickly, so that the seeds will retain as little moisture as possible."
All of Seed for Security's seeds are carefully dried and are ready for freezer storage. I do use the methods that Suzanne Ashworth recommends. Some years ago I planted mixed baking beans that my grandfather had stored in his freezer for 22 years. The germination rate surpassed other beans seeds that I had bought from a trusted company.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
"We had great success with your flint corn and look forward to the same this year. We were wondering does the corn need to be soaked in a lye solution before use (after harvesting and drying)."
A diet of only corn will lead to vitamin B deficiency and soaking in a lye solution makes the vitamin B available to the body. However as long as you have dry beans, meat, or any other source of vitamin B in your diet soaking in lye is not necessary.
"Thanks, we really enjoy getting great seeds from you!"
"Do you accept money orders as payment. If you do where do I mail the payment to and how do I go about ordering? Thank you."
Yes, I will happily accept money orders as payment. Please make the money order out to Seed for Security/Nan Hayden. I will e-mail you when I get your money order and also e-mail you when I send your seeds. Start by going to my products page, select what you want and please do not forget to add the shipping charge. When you mail the payment be sure to include your order list. If you have any questions just send me an e-mail.
My address is:
Seed for Security
28 Reed Rd
Union, CT 06076
"Hi Nan, last winter I purchased some peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. The cucumbers were really great and abundant. The peppers were delicious but the tomatoes all had a green bottom, and really seemed to come out too late to ripen. I think I may have started them in the garage too early and stunted their life. Any comments on the tomatoes they may have gotten too cold in the garage, the temp was around 50-60ish. Thanks for what you do, and thanks for any help."
Thank you for your e-mail.
Tomatoes need to be started in pots 6-8 weeks before planting in your garden. Time the starting of your seeds so they can be planted as soon as there is no danger of frost. You need a good strong plant with a solid root structure. I use grow lights to start my tomatoes. I put the light so close to the seedlings that it almost touches. Keep the light just above the plants as they grow. Water only when the soil starts to dry out. Without plenty of light tomatoes will grow leggy, weak and often break. I fertilize as soon as the seedlings pop up and once a week after that. If you do not have grow lights a very sunny window will do. The temperature of your garage should not be a problem, as long of course, that it does not freeze.
"We have had great success with our first ever attempt at gardening. We raised your corn and are now drying it. Can we use a dehydrator?"
Thank you for your e-mail.
When drying Flint Corn the ears should be left on the stalks until completely dry. If weather conditions or animal problems are such, that this is not possible, pick and husk mature ears then dry under shelter. I dry my corn on wire racks. This year I am drying the corn in my garage on 2 large wire racks. It is drying well and saves me the step of carrying outside each sunny day. Just make sure the corn is in a well ventilated space.
The drying should be done at a moderate temperature ( less than 95 degrees F.) The corn should not be removed from the cob until it is completely dry. Corn is ready for storage when the kernels shatter when hit with a hammer on concrete. If they mush at all it is not dry enough.
I would say that a dehydrator might be difficult to use as the corn should remain on the cobs until fully dry. If you decide to use one be sure to keep the temperate less than 95 degrees F.
"Hi Nan, I got the seeds you sent me for winning the survival blog contest. Just wanted to thank you from the botton of my heart. What a wonderful gift. Best Wishes, Sheri"
"We want to store some seeds long term for emergencies. I have a freezer with plenty of room and can nitrogen pack and seal in mylar with desiccant. However,I know nothing about seeds or gardening. The biggest question is what would you recommend for growing in this area? (Note-This customer is from Georgia). Then what mix of seeds for a healthy diet? I am more interested in fewer varieties that are high yield, robust, and nutritious, as opposed to a large variety that would require more space,learning curve and effort. We would intend to feed a couple of large families from the garden. We have plenty of available land, water, natural fertilizers,labor and tools. One concern is that the seeds can be packed in small enough packets to be usable or able to be traded easily. We would retain seeds from the produce, of course. The budget to start would be 2-300 dollars. Over time, we could add variety.
Thank you for your e-mail. You are wise to grow a garden and learn to save seeds. My seeds should grow well in Georgia. I have many customers from Georgia. Peas, dill and spinach like a cool climate to start therefore I would plant these in the coolest part of your season.The other seeds that we offer do well in a very warm climate. I put a lot of effort into selecting which varieties of seeds to sell. First I sell only open-pollinated, non GMO seeds. Second I want nutritious, tasty, reliable products. For example dry beans and flint corn will give much needed protein in a survival situation. I sell seeds in individual paper envelope. All of my seeds are hand packed and the smallest varieties are place in a glassine before placing in a seed envelope. Detailed planting instructions are printed on each envelope and there is a seed planting guide included with every order. I also offer 4 collections, Our Garden Security Collection, Our Bean Collection,and Our Spring Collection. I have a Garden Variety Collection as well, but that is available only with the Super Survival Pack. All of the varieties of seed in these collections are in paper envelopes that are placed in a vapor proof pouch with a desiccant and heat sealed. I offer 2 types of grain- Winter Rye, and Hulless Oats.These grains are placed in a vapor proof pouch with a desiccant and are sold in a 1 pint measure.I do recommend freezing for the longest term storage. However if your power is out for more than a day remove your seeds from the freezer and do no open the pouches, plastic or glass container. Let the seeds come to room temperature. When the power comes back on put them back in the freezer. I offer a Super Survival Pack which includes all 4 collections and both grains. This pack has 18 heirloom varieties and is approx. 4 pounds of seed. The Super Survival Pack will give you an excellent selection of reliable, nutritious, easy to grow vegetables. None of these varieties will cross-pollinate enabling you to save seeds from year to year.The price for each Super Survival Pack is $75.00 with $10.00 for shipping.
I hope to hear from you soon.
"Interesting article about Flint Corn. How come you don't sell it?"
The Indian Corn that I sell is a Flint Corn. It is available in an individual packet of 300 seeds and is included in our Garden Security Collection also 300 seeds. This is a meal corn that makes an excellent corn bread and corn muffins.
"Just want to tell you that I think you are amazing! For two years I have been casually looking at seed packets to have on hand just in case the crash comes! I can't really say I think the economy is improving much - certainly not in the town in which I live. All the products I viewed left me in doubt, mostly because I knew little about non-hybrid seed. I have never found the kind of information you give! I think your product fits the need for me. I will be ordering soon. Thanks."
"I have looked at several sites and can say in all honesty; I am confused! Regarding your Super Survival Pack ID-SFS-coo5 for $75.00. How long will the product store? Does one need to put the product in a glass container before storing in the ref.? My understanding is corn can only be stored for 2 years. Since there is corn in the Survival Pack does that mean the pack is only good for 2 years? Sorry for your trouble and thank you in advance for your time."
The seeds I have selected to put in all our collections have average shelf lives at room temperature of at least 5-7 years. Once properly dried and sealed with a desiccant in a water proof pouch as I do, they are protected from moist air and will last years longer. They are also ready for refrigerator or freezer storage keeping them much longer still. I do not sell onion seeds, parsnip or carrot seeds or seeds or any other crop whose seeds are only good for a year or two. Sweet corn seeds do not last anywhere near as long as dry corn for grinding. Perhaps someone was thinking of sweet corn? In fact, I have seen warnings not to plant hybrid sweet corn seeds which are more than two years old. My Flint Corn seeds keeps for many years at room temperature. I do not sell hybrid of any kind. I have been growing and conducting germination tests annually on our seeds for many many years so I know what keeps and what does not. Instead of asking our readers to take my word for it, I refer them to the International Seed Saving Institute and Suzanne Ashworth's excellent book "Seed to Seed". Links to the ISSI have been on my website for years and I recommended that book for years also. Also regarding corn, look here- http://www.seedforsecurity.com/article.php?articleid=100 I hope I have answered all of your questions. Saving and storing seeds has a lot more to it than most people expect. Please e-mail me again if anything is not clear. Answer from Dennis- I truly want to thank you for your reply. I will be ordering today. Again thanks.
"What a life you must live. Visiting you're website for the first time brings back memories of long ago. All the pictures,the land,the equipment...wow! Seems like you folks have a lot of love and dedication in what you do. Soon we will be moving back to the eastern part of our state and once settled I will be placing a large order. Thanks for the pics. I am jealous of the life you have!"
"What a wonderful site; we appreciate all of the care and forethought you obviously put into your products."
"Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent customer service. You addressed a minor problem with my order quickly. I really appreciate it!"
"I just found your site and wanted to say you have a great site.Thank you for sharing."