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Behind the Barn with Farmer John

Published: July 19, 2010 6:25 AM


For L of Cambridge and CE of N Canton

Both of these readers wrote about the effects of the economy on families … shorter or no vacations, less eating out and harder to find the dollars for clothes and extras, etc. and I understand the frustrations, stress and worries this economy puts on parents, families, etc. but there is sunshine out there if you just look at things differently. 

Another reader in Findlay is worrying about the new law some are trying to put through to take away all television reception except through cable or satellite. 

Of course, this is all brought about by greed and control. SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER???? 

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How does that old song go — accentuate the positive. Let the greedy mongers take the television reception away. 

Your families would have more family time, time to eat together, to play board games, to talk over things bothering the kids, to do things together. 

Maybe some haven’t heard, there are great clothes at thrift stores, Salvation Army stores, etc. and at reasonable prices. 

On my weekly garage and yard sale runs, I saw clothes almost new for 25 cents to a dollar ... nice toys, etc. for a quarter, larger plastic furniture, etc. for a few dollars. 

I picked up a set of weights for $2. Eating out is not near as much fun as having the kids help you make a meal, homemade pizza or popcorn and punch for supper, or to have as a treat for a new movie. And a weekend vacation to someplace in Ohio can be a lot of fun. 

I guess what I am saying is fun and happiness is what you make of life, having a good time does not depend on how much you have in your billfold or checking account. 

Improvise and enjoy what you do have, make the most of it. I promise you will have fun, and likely more than you would have ever had on that ocean beach trip or cruise.


Red Giant Mustard Greens

One of our reader/friends in Fostoria wrote this: Dear Farmer John, Enclosed are some seeds for Red Giant Mustard Greens that are good to add to salads with milder greens. This is a full flavored mustard, it has dramatic purple tinted leaves with green midribs that add color and zest to salads, stir frys and sandwiches. Can start harvesting at six inches the outer leaves. It has good cold tolerance, start sowing in spring as soon as ground can be worked and every three weeks after as long as weather remains cool. 

Also some arugula seed. K of Fostoria

Dear K, Thank you so much for the seeds and the information. Hope your garden is doing well with that hot spell we had. 


Dear Farmer John, We have a problem with bats in the eve of the house. Would like to know how to get rid of them for good. 

Have had them for two years. Hope someone can help me! S of Lore City

Dear S, Of course there are poisons and exterminators. But if you have a relative or good friend that is good on a ladder, you will get rid of them for good if you seal up the places they are going and coming from. 

But you have to have it done after they leave in the evening and before they come back before dawn. 

If you kill them without sealing up the spots, they live in and others will just come for the vacancies. 

Any readers who write and share their thoughts I will send  to you or print here for you to read. Just make sure whoever does it is very careful and stays safe … no one wants someone hurt over bats.


Angel Food Cake Icing recipe correction from Mrs. Y of Millersburg

I sent in the recipe and it should read 1-1/3 cup powdered sugar for the icing. Please correct. (Thank you Mrs. Y for writing and correcting. FJ)


S of Fredericksburg writes ... I put 2 drops of veggie oil on silk of corn to keep off corn borer as soon as it is formed. (Thank you for the tips S. We appreciate your writing and all who wrote this week. God Bless you all and all reading this. FJ)


From V of Salesville — I just wanted to write and say I freeze all my leftover seeds, whether left over garden or flower seeds, and I have yet to have any not germinate the next year. But you must do it as soon as you can. (Thank you friend! FJ)


DB of Cleveland writes ... I am in my first week of chemo and I wanted to write and thank you and your readers for their ideas. 

The movies have helped me. God Bless you all for caring, this is the hardest fight of my life. 

Dear DB, And you are in our prayers, you are going to win that fight, don’t ever doubt!


T of Barnesville wrote and said they are having a lot of back pain and lost their perfect without one cavity teeth to stress. 

They would appreciate any ideas for to help with back pain. 

Dear A, we will see what the readers say, I know your concern is with getting hooked on pain killers.

 I would ask the doctor about gentle workouts in a pool, see what he says. I do know of some that say it helped them. We will keep you also in our prayers.


Dear Farmer John, On another property we own, there is a lilac bush different than any others I have ever seen. It blooms a good two or three weeks after all the other lilacs and when the flowers (it is a lavender variety) are cut — the bouquet lasts longer than others. Do you know what kind it is? I have looked for new shoots under it to get a start for home. But in the three years, I’ve been looking I haven’t found any. The bush is large, healthy and always filled with blooms. I have tried using rooting powder several times to start one from a cutting but it hasn’t worked yet. Do you have any suggestions? Also if my black and red raspberry bushes cross will the berries be good to eat? 

They are planted six or seven feet apart as that is the only place I could put them. 

Keep up the good work, I learn something every week! 

Then I pass the column on to my 19 year old grandson who planted his first garden this year. Do you have a Web site? Thank you, JP of Fostoria

Dear JP, First, I would guess the lilac bush you are talking about is the true old fashioned lilac, you see most of the varieties sold today are hybrids of that or the French lilac. 

Quickly checking, I found them offered in an old Farmers Seed and Nursery Catalog. 

If any readers know where to get this old fashioned lilac or can offer information, please write. 

The cuttings are the best bet, but they are hard to start. 

The black and red raspberries are fine to eat and I doubt if they will mix the berries. 

Yes, any readers that find it is easier to reach me on the Internet, do so at guy__plus@hotmail.com. 

For all others with help, questions, tips and recipes write to: Farmer John, P.O. Box 234, Groveport, OH 43125, until next week enjoy your children, friends, and spouse or that special someone … let them know how much you appreciate them! 

Remember a smile and kindness makes not only you but everyone around you feel better!


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