Having an emergency seed bank may be of great use to you after the SHTF and food is hard to come by. With seeds stored ahead of time, you can go right into garden mode, planting and growing foods that will sustain you through uncertain times. Ideally growing a garden is something that will be embraced before lean times befall us, but having a seed bank ready to go when the time comes will still put you ahead of those who will have nothing at all on which to rely.
When preparing a seed bank, the first thing to consider is variety and diversity. Not only do you want to include vegetables that taste different from one another but also those that will give you different nutrients and have enough caloric content to feed and sustain you as well as your family. A well-proportioned diet is important for survival, but so is a tasty one. If you are eating the same thing day after day after day, even the most unexcitable palate is sure to grow tired of repeating meals.
Also important is balance. This means storing seeds for foods which will not only grow readily but also store easily and planting so they will replenish as the last batch is consumed. Think of your vegetables like shark teeth; as soon as one row is consumed, another row should be popping up behind it for the next round of meals.
When planning your planting, be sure to include staple crops. It is easy to store lots of tiny seeds because quantity breeds quantity, right? In some ways this is true, but staple crops with large seeds also grow in large quantities and should absolutely be included in your seed bank. These items also often keep without refrigeration for extended periods of time, although other means of proper storage are necessary. Examples of staple crops include carrots, potatoes, corn, dry beans, winter squash, soup peas, turnips, and more.
Even though foods such as Beefsteak tomatoes are delicious, they can be tough to grow even in ideal conditions. This means wasting not only precious storage space but also precious garden space in hopes a difficult food item can be coaxed along. In some cases, you will likely have great success; in others, great failure. Tough tomatoes to grow include Beefsteak, Brandywine, and Roma, which is especially susceptible to blossom end rot. On the other hand, cherry tomatoes grow easily and plentifully, making them a much better choice.
Overall it seems like the best thing to do is create your own seed bank to both the specifications of your palate and what will grow easily in your regional climate. While it is possible to purchase seed banks that are already assembled for you, some will have items you have no intention of ever consuming while others will have things that are utterly pointless, such as decorative corn. Regional considerations, too, are very important due to variations in soil and amounts of rain present.
Remember, there are 12 major eco-regions in the United States which means a minimum of 12 types of seed banks should exist. Some of these will have things in common while others will vary widely, but the bottom line is having seed banks that will result in growth. When all else fails, think of the needs of your body. Avoid things that are known to cause stomach upset or those that may spur allergies. You know your stomach best, so prepare to feed it the things you prefer to eat and put those things in your seed bank for when the time comes that you are forced to rely on your gardening skills and the growth of the seeds you chose.