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Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,

I am considering pulling my retirement out of mutual funds and using it for home repairs and preparation. Can you advise me as to how much should be taken out for taxes or is that something that automatically comes out of the fund when it’s closed? Thank you so much for your help. I am a stay-at -home mom who homeschools therefore, I do not see replenishing the funds for retirement for a while in the future.

Prepping Mom


Dear Prepping Mom,

I know that when we pulled money out of a mutual fund many years ago, the money was not taxed at the time of distribution. That was figured at the end of the year by our accountant. There are so many variables that go into figuring out what the tax rate is that it’s impossible to do so in a forum such as this. Additionally, it’s beyond the scope of Off the Grid News‘s expertise to advise on tax matters. You’re going to have to consider your basis in the mutual fund (the original amount you contributed) along with any fees and commissions charged to that fund. I would suggest that you consult a CPA that can guide you in the best way to handle this mutual fund distribution and if it makes financial sense in your situation. They can best advise you on the different ways you can take advantage of legitimate tax deductions to lessen the impact of any taxes you will incur when taking a distribution from your mutual fund.

The Editor



Dear Editor,

I have begun saving seed from my vegetables and I was wondering if I could use my food dehydrator to speed up the seed drying process. Nothing in the manual that came with my dehydrator says anything about how to dry seeds with it, so I was wondering if you had some suggestions?

Budding Seed Saver


Dear Seed Saver,

The best way to dry seed is the way nature intended—in the sun. Don’t pick them too green or they won’t have had time to develop properly. There are actually embryos inside the seed that grow when planted the following year, and as with any “baby”, plucking them too soon  from the womb keeps them from being able to survive. If you can’t allow your seed to dry thoroughly on the vine or if placing your seed outdoors for additional drying time isn’t an option for one reason or another, then spread them out on a pan or plate inside the house and allow them to air dry. (Even seed that looks and feels dry when you pick them should be allowed to air dry an additional few days before storing them. Larger seeds may be left to air dry for several weeks.)

You have to be careful about prolonged temperatures above 95° which can damage or kill seed. That’s why you must be very careful if you attempt to use a dehydrator. Use the lowest possible temperature setting on your dehydrator (100° or below) and don’t allow your seed to remain in the dehydrator for more than an hour or so. It is possible to dry out your seeds too much and effectively “kill” them. They have to retain a minute amount of moisture in order to germinate the following year. You have to be very diligent with this process, checking your seed constantly. So to answer your question, yes you can technically use a dehydrator. However, don’t let impatience cause you to use a method that might kill a large portion of your seed for next year’s garden.

The Editor


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