I was hunting on the Internet recently for some ideas for my spring garden next year. One thing I found time and time again was emergency seed kits or seed survival kits. Most of these kits contain a mixture of plants that generally tend to be heirloom seeds. In an ideal situation they can be used to supply food for X number of people. And that is the catch. Now I have been gardening since I was knee high to a horned toad. I have gardened in Alaska, the Mojave Desert, and Southwestern Ohio and let me tell you, one needs a lot more than seeds to grow something you can put on a plate. Now from a stand point of preparing for an emergency there is a lot to be said for growing at least some of your own food. But like I say with emergency cooking, practice, practice, practice. I had to give up a large garden after a heart attack and have since gone to a large container garden. I had to relearn and adapt to these new constraints and opportunities because the ecosystem available for my plants had changed. In fact even though I have been gardening successfully my whole life there is not a year that goes by were I do not learn something new or have to adapt to changes in the environment. So first learn to garden, start slow and learn the basics first. If you are new to gardening I would start with peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. In most states there are garden clubs and agricultural extension offices that will generally have published some recommended of varieties and species that will grow well in your area. For example there are some great heirloom cucumbers, but I cannot grow most of them in my area without a lot of pesticides due to several insects that carry diseases that just wipes out most cucumbers. So if I had purchased a survival kit with cucumbers I would have to maintain a supply of pesticides, or create a barrier system like a hoop house to grow those cucumbers. My option which I will be doing this spring is to try some disease resistant varieties of cucumbers. I will be growing most of my plants in old horse feed tubs which are like a 55 gallon tub cut in half. This means that I will have to have support for vining cucumbers if I do not select compact bush types. I will have to have been able to start the seeds by a sunny window on the back porch and have the correct pH and soil setup in the containers that I will grow them in. Now if I believed that I needed a seed survival kit and I wanted cucumbers to be in it, at the end of next summer I will know if X, Y, and Z varieties should be included in it. I would also know what is required to grow them in the environment I have to work with. Plus I would have a fairly good idea when cucumbers would be available and how many and what size they are likely to be. To prove my point I did not grow my own cucumbers this year but used some varieties purchased from some retailers in my area. I got two edible cucumbers out of 12 plants. As of this posting there is one small vine still alive.