Tomato sprouting

I was wondering if you ever saw a tomato that had a plant of some kind growing out of the fruit itself. I’ve had two of them from the garden now and am wondering if you’ve ever seen this and how it happens? Looks like an alien coming out of the tomato! There are several “stems” pushing out of it with many more just under the skin. I’ve searched the internet and can’t find anything on this.

Gail Panzitta
Cream Ridge, New Jersey

Actually, I have seen this. It’s tomato seeds from inside the “mother” tomato that are germinating prematurely. Usually, the gel that surrounds the seeds prevents this. But sometimes something goes “wrong” and the seeds start germinating early. I’ve seen apples that have been in long-term storage do this too although the sprouting seeds haven’t penetrated the apple flesh or skin yet. — Jackie

Homesteader savings

I am new to homesteading. I follow most all your advice on keeping a homestead. We live in NJ on a small lot where I grow all our vegetables. Our neighbors have chickens and we all share our veggies and eggs together. We are not completely independent financially so my husband works outside the home while I tend to all the living in the home. We have a question regarding savings. How and where do homesteaders store their spare cash? I feel funny about keeping a jar of cash in the house. But I don’t have enough to put it in a savings account without fees. What do you recommend?
Suzanne Paquette Richards

Savings? Yeah sure — we’re homesteaders! Seriously, we put most of our “savings” into our homestead as we figure that’s where it’ll do us the most good without such things as bank failures or the stock market crashing. When we saved up for a down payment on our new forty acres, we did open a savings account just for that purpose. The bank fees were tiny, as were our first deposits. You might check with other banks. Sometimes credit unions are a better bet. Other than that, we do keep a small amount of ready cash (just in case) where it’s safe from theft. Much of our own “savings” is in cattle and other livestock that we have a ready market for, both immediate at the auction barn and planned sales of meat which nets us a much greater income. The rest is in improvements in our homestead that let us easily accomplish more later on. Another of our “savings” is trying to stay out of debt, paying off any loans (tractor, car, etc.) before they are due by making extra payments, etc. No credit cards to suck down our minimal income. — Jackie


  1. I’ve been using credit unions for about 20 years – left commercial banks after they started charging more and more fees. A couple years ago the Xerox credit union I had been in for over 10 years separated from Xerox and merged with some others, and at that point they started acting like a commercial bank with inactivity fees and minimum balances and this and that. Since I was unemployed at the time I inquired about having these fees waived since I had been with them for years. No go. So I go. Moved my money to a smaller community credit union without the fees.

    Read the fine print and keep up with changes in terms. Change institutions if they start changing on you.

  2. Save quarters and dimes – handy to have if paper money should not be honored for any reason. Nickels and pennies can be rolled and turned in for cash to buy essential items at the dollar store. Eat right, sleep enough, take vitamins, laugh, enjoy life and friends. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a monthly pay agreement and even apply for charity help at your local hospital. People are always more important than material things – put yourself first and that new outfit or car way down on the list!

  3. Beth,

    We are lucky in that Will is a Vietnam veteran and has health care through the VA. I have both medicare and ChampVA as my late husband, Bob, was a 100% service-connected disabled veteran who died as a result of this condition (Agent Orange). But if I was not able to have insurance, I’d check out the Christain healthcare sharing group, MediShare where members share in each other’s health care expenses. It is much cheaper than “regular” insurance.

  4. Be careful with credit union accounts, I had one that I started getting charged $5 a month for what they called “lack of inactivity”. I didn’t have any money at the time to put in and I sure wasn’t going to take it out because I thought that was the whole purpose of the account. So I showed them activity and closed the account and they didn’t even act like they cared if they lost my business! So I’m not sold on credit unions.

  5. My question is more about what you do for insurance? We aren’t old enough for Medicare and do not want to be dependent on govt anyway. Our health is excellent and my husband stays employed to keep stashing away and for the insurance. Private insurance is outrageous. I am retired from the medical field so I know what things cost vs what the consumer is charged!!

  6. Hi all!

    Thanks for the help. My husband and I really like Jackie’s comment about putting the money into our homestead where it will do the most good. We do keep petty cash in the house but the rest of what we can save will go in the credit union. We have no debt, only the mortgage. So we will pay that down as quick as possible. The rest of the time I work the garden and the house, hubby does the repairs, and works a day job. Thanks again for all the kind help.

  7. Suzanne, may I jump in here? Have you considered a credit union? They charge minimal, if any, fees. And you only need to keep a very small amount to maintain your account. Been a member of a credit union for many years and wouldn’t go any other route.

  8. I keep some cash in a canning jar mixed in with my homecanned items. And some in the freezer. a friend of mine keeps hers in the toe
    of old boots in a tin bandaid can. Hope this helps.

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