Just a quick note today: It feels good to payoff a car! The SNH family has paid off our second car. Now we just need to keep them healthy. Debt snowball to keep rolling! FI is just a few years away. Thank you #daveramsey.
If you want to continue to propagate loved plants or specialty varieties, you should try saving some seeds from year to year. In this group of pictures, I take you through the steps of saving some pepper seeds from our tabasco pepper plant.
1) If you’re like me and have built up a tolerance to the capsaicin in your peppers, you might not need to put on some gloves. All others, please put on some gloves.
2) I like to dry my peppers first before pulling the seeds. This way, when you cut off the head, most of them will come out by simply rolling the pepper between your fingers.
3) Put the seeds on a paper towel to remove excess moisture that may still be left on the seeds. Moisture can be an enemy to seed savers by allowing the seeds to mold or even sprout.
4) Count each and every seed you have on your paper towel. Just kidding, please don’t do this.
5) Get a glass jar with a lid that creates a decent seal. Place your seeds inside, but give them some time to dry again.
6) After a few days, place the lid on it and put in a cool, dry and dark location.
7) Plant in the next garden cycle, check your propagation rates. Beware that not all plants come true to seed, but peppers are fairly reliable as long as you don’t have a lot of different varieties growing in the same space.
Happy Labor Day Weekend SNHers,
I am taking a much needed vacation from professional life for the next week and going to focus a bit on our new property. The little SNHers are headed back to school on Tuesday. Our experiment with virtual school did not go well as our children are craving the interaction of real teachers. The online scenario also fails on its face when #3 is entering her first year of Kindergarten. It is surprisingly difficult to get her to follow the online instruction and be at home with so many distractions.
I am planning to work on these items:
* Take down 1 of the metal sheds.
* Fix a curtain issue where the new cats threaten its ability to stay on the wall on an hourly basis.
* Fertilize the blueberries for the fall season.
* Maybe get a few more plants started now that things are settling in.
I was doing some thinking about how managing your debt puts you ahead financially. We often talk about the smarter ways to invest money and different strategies therein. Managing your debt side payments can often be a bigger upside than your investments in terms of total benefit. This is because what you might be paying in interest is greater than your investment savings on the same value.
In this example, lets examine the case where you are given $5000 through a windfall. How do you use it effectively to give you the most benefit?
You have the following options in front of you.
1) Pay into your credit card that sits at 19.2% and you owe $5000 on it. Your minimum payment is $100 per month.
2) Pay into your medical debt of which you owe $9000.
3) Add to your taxable investment account of which is heavily invested in “tax exempt” funds with a nice MUNI CEF at 5%.
1) Over the lifetime of your credit card, to pay back the 5k you owe on it with minimum payments, you would be forking over a cool $20,313. So, for that 5k debt making the minimums, it ended up costing you $15,313.
2) A lot of folks end up with medical debt that has no interest accrued on the account. If it does have interest, it is often very low. So with this debt, we could say that you would ultimately pay between 9 and 15k. Max cost here for the debt side is around 6k, but it might also be nothing and varies by local laws. Some states have a maximum rate that can be charged for medical debt.
3) Assuming the 5% payout rate for the MUNI CEF, it would take you 29 years assuming a flat rate with a drip to get you to that 20k mark ($20,580.68).
For my money, I would go off with paying the credit card debt as it has the highest benefit and allows you to get cash positive quicker in the overall picture. I am personally on a track where I double my credit card payment to push it down as fast as I can. The high cost of taking loans and credit cards is a lesson we could all use and one that I am painfully too aware.
I thought I would give a brief list of the things that have happened over the past few weeks.
- We bought a house! It is a bit more inland that our island living arrangement of the past few months. Good Bye Covid Garden. We have about a 1/3 of an acre now and I no longer throw money away by renting.
- Our investments during the pandemic are already bringing returns. If you follow the financial posts you’ll know that I am interested in investment. The thesis that investing post crash seems to be holding up pretty well so far and has fully recovered. The allocation of how that recovery happened was completely upside down in how I thought it would play out though.
- The new garden space be about 8 times the size of the Covid garden. I’ll post some videos soon, but we need to get through the hot August first. Our first task will be to section off the yard for the new garden area.
- We already have some of the following from the previous homeowner: Moringa, Papaya, Banana, Turmeric and Ginger growing in the yard!
- Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaias is bearing down today. We don’t expect any damage here, but it will be rainy all day.
I am very excited. I just placed a seed order with Baker Creek. Here is the list:
|Black Beauty Tomato||TX125||06/28/20|
|Blue Beauty Tomato||TX110||06/28/20|
|Blue Berries Tomato||TX111||06/28/20|
|Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomato||TX133||06/28/20|
|Green Zebra Tomato||TG103||06/28/20|
|Rosa Bianca Eggplant||EG105||06/28/20|
|Chicago Pickling Cucumber||CU181||06/28/20|
|Galeux D’ Eysines Squash||SQ156||06/28/20|
|Solar Flare Lettuce||LT185||06/28/20|
Some of these are really for pure enjoyment. The tomato crop has been decent, so I thought I would stock up on the odd varieties that might have an element of fun. I am really looking forward to the Black Beauty and Atomic Grape Tomato.
The Eggplant is really a final attempt for me to like eggplant, so I picked one that had great reviews and looks neat!
I will trial a few of these for the fall garden. Hopefully, at our new house.
Sincerely – Mr. SNH.
The folks have been hard at work in their garden as well. Looks like a great crop is going to be in line.
Mrs. SNH whipped this food network recipe up like a pro. She kneaded the dough by hand instead of using a dough hook. It turned out great!
This is how they turned out!
Happy Sunday SNH’ers,
After the fiasco with the aphids, we are rebuilding. The pole beans have been replanted and another row has been set to grow into the chicken wire fence. We also have some good stuff coming out this week. We took another harvest of jalapenos. Mrs. SNH kindly let me have a few slices to make the salsa (pic below) with a ripe tomato from the garden. She also made some fantastic garlic cheese bread that I will post later.
I also got the opportunity to pick a fine yellow bell pepper which was used in a lasagna on Saturday night. I have really enjoyed the fresh produce coming out of the garden. The flavor has been much better than the store bought stuff.
Speaking of store bought, the local publix is charging 3.99/lb on fresh tomatoes. At that rate, if you can grow them, they really are a money saver. I would estimate that we are about $.03 in for each tomato plant. Talk about some value!
The Folks are also having some success out in California with their tomatoes. Their plants are fully loaded at this point and just waiting to ripen. I’ll see if I can’t find a picture and post that too.
Hope you are all staying safe. Keep investing, growing and loving your family!