A New Year ... what does it mean to you? What does it hold in the way of excitement, hopes, adventure, and/or new memories? It may be your last year or just one of many to come. But what does it matter? You can make the New Year mean whatever you want it to ... you can make your dreams come true, you can beat that disease or problem you have, you can find a new love or enjoy your present one more than you ever imagined, you can make new friends or enjoy old friendships more, you can get that special job or advancement that you have hoped for, you can take that vacation you have always wanted, you can make any dream you have ever had come true! It is all in your hands, believe, do what you must, but live life ever day and reach for the stars, they are closer than you think! You can do it ... you can live life better than ever before, enjoy it more, be happier and healthier ... your life in the new year is all in your hands ... no one else's ... so make it the best year ever ... believe in yourself ... I believe in you ... now just do it, make it happen, and start today!


Dear Farmer John, I have an English walnut tree in my backyard. It has been there for a long time and every so often it has 15-20 nuts. Some years it doesn't get any. I would like to have more trees, is there any way to get trees to start from the nuts off the tree that I have? Thanks Joe, Alliance

Dear Joe, It sounds like you have a pollination problem. You need another tree right away as one walnut will not always pollinate any nuts and if so only a few, as in the case you mentioned. To answer your question ... yes, it is possible but first you need to do a test ... to see if the nuts you are getting have a kernel in them. Take a few nuts and open them as soon as they have fallen. If they have meat nuts plant the rest in posts, or half in pots and half in the ground. You should if the nuts are good, get at least two trees for every ten you plant ... good luck, but I would buy another walnut tree and get it started right away, then you will have much larger yields.


Dear Farmer John, I have made my Christmas cards for several years. I want to say right off, unless you watch for sales on ribbons, stamps, etc. ... the cards won't be cheaper, but the great thing is you can personalize each for each individual. Most Christmas cards are ordinary and are discarded after the holidays. But if you make them and you put a little personality in them, they will be kept as keep sakes for years if not a lifetime. It takes time but the response you will get from your cards will be worth it. Try it one year and see if you aren't happy with the results ... Ms. T of Fostoria

Dear Ms. T, We thank you for the tip. Myself, I purchase antique Christmas postcards for Christmas but for the same reason as you ... if you are sending a Christmas card why not send a unique one that will make the recipient feel special. The idea of making cards is great, and I hope many readers try it next year! Keep up the original work and keep helping others as you have today!


Carrot Pie and Sweet Potato Pie from JB of Cambridge ... to help P of Newcomerstown/reader(s)

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie -- 1 unbaked 9-inch pastry crust, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 2 pounds of butter or margarine, 1/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed, 1 can (1 pound 14 ounces) sweet potatoes or yams drained, (could use cooked sweet potatoes, mashed, to equal canned measurement) 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 eggs beaten, 1 1/2 cups of milk. Prepare pastry crust. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine pecans, butter or margarine, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar spread even on bottom of pastry shell. Bake 10 minutes and cool, reduce heat to 350 degrees. Beat sweet potatoes with electric mixer till smooth, add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, spices, salt, and eggs, beat till blended well. Add milk slowly, continue beating until quite smooth, pour into cooled pastry shell, bake 35-40 minutes, or till thin-bladed knife comes out clean. Cool before serving. Serve with whipped cream if desired!

Carrot Pie -- 4 large carrots, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 2 eggs, 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook carrots in boiling water till well done, skin carrots and mash, add melted butter, milk, eggs and vanilla, sift flour, sugar, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. Beat all ingredients together with a rotary beater. Pour into pastry lined pie pan and bake 50-60 minutes ... I hope these recipes work for you, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New year.


To M of Millersburg, enjoyed the card and I'm glad you are putting smiles on faces of friends! Can't beat that feeling can you ... when you make a person smile or make their day a little happier! God Bless you and all the readers I hear from every week, reaching out to help others, thinking of others, and remembering the lonely! Plus all who have sent me Christmas cards! Thank you too!


Readers needs Advice! Can you offer some?

V in Dundee would like to know what type of dryer or dehydrator you use or recommend and where to get one ... mostly for drying apples, also a recipe to make homemade lye soap.

HC of Alliance has squirrels in their attic, and wants to know how to keep squirrels out or get rid of them? The reader does not want to harm them.

Dear HC, we will see what the readers offer, but first you need to close all entrances that allow them to get into the attic. Next, I would bait a have-a-heart trap and catch them alive, and transport to a woods away from your home ... It works, I have done it. Good luck and I will report any other ideas I get from readers ...


If you can help, have a question, a tip or hint or just want to write me a letter ... write me at Farmer John, P.O. Box 234, Groveport, OH 43125 .. till next week ... have happy days. I truly hope all of you have or have had a wonderful holiday season. A helping hand up, may be a smile from the fingertips ... a thought for you to think about this week ...