Your company is called Texas Ready, but I don’t live in Texas – will your seeds grow in my area?
Absolutely! As mentioned on our homepage, TEXAS READY refers to a state of preparedness, not a growing region. We have selected specific seed varieties that will perform well anywhere in the continental United States, regardless of your USDA growing zone.
What is meant by the term "heirloom seeds"?
Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, well-established breeds known for producing stable and reliable yields over a very long period of time. (They are also known as heritage varieties.)
Similarly, you could also say that our Liberty Seed Banks are heirlooms, as they will provide a family legacy to be passed down from one generation to another – truly, the gift that keeps on giving!
Why are TEXAS READY seeds any better (or different) than the seeds I can buy at my local nursery, hardware store or building supply company?
Most of the seeds sold in the US are hybridized. Hybrids are generally unstable varieties that have been developed to provide better yields, greater drought tolerance, higher resistance to insects, fungus and disease and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. These are all great things, but the problem is that most of them produce sterile seed. In other words, you can’t plant a seed from one of these fruits or vegetables and have it grow into a plant that will yield a new crop. (If they do produce viable seed, the hybridized attributes will probably be lost.) Therefore, you are forced to re-buy your seed each year.
The seeds we sell are not genetically modified or unstable hybrids; rather, our seeds are open-pollinated heirloom varieties that reproduce “true-to-type.” If you practice proper gardening techniques and correctly save your seed, the produce you harvest in your first year will be virtually identical to the produce harvested by your great grandchildren a century from now. So you only have to buy your seeds one time!
What are the germination rates of your seeds and how long will they last?
The seeds we sell are fresh and have lab-certified germination rates in excess of the USDA requirements for each particular variety. We also do our own tests to ensure that the stated germination rates are reliable. This is why we are the only company to offer a guarantee on the seeds included in our banks.
You will find many dubious claims concerning seed germination rates on the Internet. But we are straight-shooters here at TEXAS READY, and will tell you exactly like it is.
Seeds are living organisms and have a finite life span. The rate at which they deteriorate depends upon the specific variety of seed and how it is kept.
If possible, your seeds should be stored in a climate-controlled environment such as an air-conditioned home. Generally speaking, the lower the temperature the better, and wide temperature fluctuations should be avoided. If it isn’t possible to maintain a consistently cool environment, placing your seed bank inside a sealed cooler and burying it at least a foot underground (where it won’t flood) is a viable option. Seed may be safely frozen only if the moisture content has been reduced to 8% or less. (This is true for most – but not all – vegetable seed varieties.) Generally speaking, we do not recommend freezing seed.
The seed we sell is as good and as fresh as any on the market. But we will not mislead you with inflated seed counts or over-stated germination rates when the health of your family is at stake. Stored properly, yields on the seed in our banks should remain sufficiently high for roughly three to five years. Beware of claims that seeds will keep for ten years, regardless of whether or not the seed is dried and/or frozen. Germination rates and seed viability are two different things; do not risk the well-being of your family on the hope that your seeds will last into the next decade!
The bottom line is this. We are selling a lifestyle, not a “survival seed kit” or “emergency seed bank.” We want you to start your garden now so that you can begin learning how to cultivate your plants, harvest your produce and save your seed. This is how you self-sustain, and how you prepare your family for whatever the future may hold.
If you have any questions about this very important topic, please call 832-493-1357 and ask for Lucinda the Seed Lady!
How is your seed packaged?
Our seeds are stored in US Army ammo boxes. These steel cases seal tightly and provide protection from insects, vermin, light, moisture and humidity.
The individual varieties of herb, fruit and vegetable seeds in our banks are packaged in heavy zip-lock bags. Since seeds require a certain amount of air and moisture to survive, we do not vacuum pack our seeds, nor do we use desiccants. Our method of packaging fully protects your seed from everything except heat, but as long as you store your seed bank indoors or underground, you should be OK on the temperature issue as well.
It should be noted that some vendors package their seeds in mylar bags, which are used to shield the seed from light. But as long as your seeds are stored in a light-proof container (such as our ammo cans), mylar is not necessary. Instead, our clear zip-lock bags enable you to easily examine your seeds without having to remove them from the bags.
Other vendors herald the fact that their seeds are heat-sealed in pouches or locked inside of No. 10 cans. Though there is nothing inherently wrong with that approach as far as seed preservation is concerned, storing seeds inside of non-resealable containers totally defeats the TEXAS READY purpose. We will never use non-resealable packaging, as our principle goal is to help you achieve a lifestyle of self-sufficiency!
In other words, we want you to start your garden today. If you wait until a crisis situation to pull your seed bank off the shelf, it may very well be too late. For one thing, unless you’re already an accomplished vegetable gardener, you won’t know what you’re doing. And secondly, even if you are an expert at planting seed and raising produce, it will take several weeks before you actually begin to harvest food.
Why do you have different types of tomatoes, peppers and other items?
First is simple variety. Roma tomatoes are good for canning, stews and sauces. Beefsteaks work well for burgers, salads and sandwiches. And though we provide a fine bell pepper, one must also have cayenne to use as a spice and jalapeños for the salsa.
Additionally, some crops come to harvest all at one time (determinate), while others continue to provide produce over a several month period (indeterminate). Determinate crops are ideal for canning and food preservation purposes.
Yet another reason for variety is that if (for whatever reason) a particular type of seed doesn’t perform well in a given year, the other varieties will serve as fall-back crops.
There are other answers to this question, and each bank includes a six page document explaining each variety in your bank, what it’s used for and the reason it is included.
I have no experience in gardening, and wouldn't know where to begin. Do you have any suggestions for a newbie?
You bet. Out of the dozens of books in our research library, we have personally selected a handful that are comprehensive in scope, relevant to food production (and preservation) and easy to understand without treating you like an idiot. These books are available for purchase from our website, but many of them are actually included as bonuses with the purchase of our larger seed banks.
Though our seeds will grow well regardless of the gardening method used, we strongly recommend the Mittleider system. This is the method we use and the one that we teach.
You might also wish to check with your local garden club, horticultural society, community college or agricultural extension service. These groups have lecture series, classes and materials that will help get you started on the right foot.
Our neighborhood is interested in starting a community garden. Would your seed banks be suitable for such a project?
Community gardens are sprouting like asparagus all over the country, as churches, neighborhood associations, urban renewal programs and other civic organizations are beginning to recognize the value in teaching food sustainability.
The Treasury Seed Bank in particular would be perfect for launching such a project. It has enough seed to plant several acres, and we conservatively rate it as being sufficient to provide for 30 average adults (or up to 50 people if you have a mix of children, adults and the elderly). You could even use it to turn your neighborhood cul-de-sac into a veritable farmer’s market!
How much seed do you provide in each seed bank?
The number of seeds provided for each variety differs based on several factors.
We examined per-capita food consumption statistics, average varietal yields and expected germination rates. Then we accounted for a certain amount of loss due to climactic events, pests and other problematic situations. Ultimately, we came up with a given amount of seed for each variety that would provide an abundance of each crop for a single adult individual.
It should be emphasized that our per-capita seed counts were based on the assumption that the harvests would be less than stellar, and certainly not bountiful. For example, we figured that a single Hales Best Cantaloupe seed would yield, on average, two cantaloupes; similarly, we figured that six Texas Big Boy seeds would only yield one pound of peas. In other words, we were overly cautious in our assessments.
It should also be noted that micro seeds such as carrots, mustard and celery are supplied in numbers exceeding actual need, simply because they are small and difficult to work with. (On the other hand, we don’t use this type of seed to artificially inflate the seed count in our banks as some of our competitors do. It would be very easy for us to put 5,000 celery seeds, 5,000 carrot seeds and 5,000 lettuce seeds in our Piggy Bank, thereby inflating the total seed count to well over 25,000. But we don’t play those games.)
Once we had our figures in hand, we calculated the quantity of seeds needed in each seed bank to feed the number of people each particular bank was designed to supply. Suffice it to say that if the seeds are cultivated according to the instructions given in the books we sell, you should have enough for your family with an abundance to share. And remember that you will harvest innumerably more seeds from the crops you produce, and you will use this seed to replenish what you planted from your bank!
So to answer the question, the total number of seeds in our banks ranges from way over 10,000 in the Piggy Bank to approximately 200,000 in the Treasury! Again, any seed you reproduce in your own garden should be saved properly and used to replenish older stock.
Do you offer group discounts?
Any organization placing a collective order for five or more seed banks (mix or match) will qualify for a 10% total discount.
Do you ship outside the US?
Due to the fact that each country imposes its own set of restrictions and regulations on the import of agricultural products, we are only able to ship to the US and Canada.
Do you charge sales tax on your seed banks?
According to the Texas Administrative Code, no sales taxes are due on seeds sold for the production of products for human consumption. Therefore, seed banks are tax-exempt.