Hi everyone! Well, I got a shot in my finger yesterday (unpleasant!!), so this post will be shorter than I had hoped. Typing is a bit of a chore right now. First off did you see this article on Yahoo today? "The top foods you should keep in case of an emergency" was a pretty good, basic article. It's geared a bit more towards items you'll want in the event of a 3-4 day emergency, as opposed to a long-term emergency. Still, I think it's exciting when articles like this are written. Hopefully it's helping to wake up the masses.
If your garden is going strong right now, then you should be blessed with an abundance of foods which (I hope) you're canning, freezing, or dehydrating. If you've planted open-pollinated seeds, you can also be saving the seeds. Open-pollinated seeds are seeds which, when saved and replanted, will look and act just like the parent plant. Hybrid seeds are altered seeds which will either be sterile or will produce something different than the plant from which the seed was saved.
To save seeds like squashes and watermelons, simply remove and wash the seeds and then set them to dry completely. Pea, beans, and corn seeds need only to be dried and saved. Moisture is the enemy of saved seeds. Think of how a seed is when you buy it from a store; that's how dry you want your home-dried seeds to be. The pictures above are from peas that I grew this year and are currently sitting to dry.
Items like tomatoes have seeds that are covered with a gelatinous material that needs to be broken down before the seeds can be saved. Here is an article detailing one way to save tomato seeds.
Seed-saving will benefit you by assuring that, in the event of a seed shortage, you still have seeds to plant next year. It is a great skill to learn. It will also save you money and ensure that, even if you favorite plant is not being sold buy any growers, you can continue to enjoy it.