Ethical Seed Bartering After SHTF

While harvesting seeds from a squash and making a video about it, I mentioned if preppers wanted a good item for bartering after SHTF, heirloom seeds is where it is at. There is an old saying, “A friend in need is a friend in deed.”

Add starvation and chances are preppers could win friends with food.

This brings up an important topic, and that is ethical seed bartering. Would it be ethical for someone to offer heirloom seeds for barter, but the seeds are in fact hybrids?

Let’s get back to the squash seeds. Yellow squash could cross pollinate with various members of the melon family. Knowing this I did not plant anything the squash could cross pollinate with. When the seeds were harvested, I knew with absolute certainty the seeds were heirloom.

However, let’s say someone planted various members of the melon family near each other, and the plants cross pollinated. This could possibly result in hybrid rather than heirloom seeds. If the person knew the plants could cross pollinate, it would be unethical to say the saved seeds were heirloom.

Now comes the twist. For the sake of discussion let’s say the person knows nothing about cross pollination. Would it still be unethical to say the seeds were heirloom?

As for the person receiving the seeds, let’s be honest, how many people reading this article would know the difference between a turnip and snap bean seed? It would be pretty much impossible to tell the difference between a hybrid an heirloom squash seed.

Then there are the old seeds which may not germinate. When seeds are stored properly, they can last hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. However, in a long term grid down situation, seeds will not be able to be stored in climate controlled environments.

On a personal note, I personally germinated decade old seeds. The seeds were bought in May of 2007, had been stored in a deep freezer for 10 years, germinated, planted, and grown in 2017.  Without the benefit of a deep freezer, seeds will typically lose some of their germination every year.

Would it be unethical for someone to offer up several decade old seed packets for barter?

Maybe it would depend upon who knows the most about seeds?  A decade ago I harvested seeds from a store bought cantaloupe, just to see if they would sprout. It would be easy to tell someone the seeds were fresh and been harvested from my garden. However, to lie would be unethical.

So maybe the line should be drawn when someone lies, or tries to deceive the other?

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