Thursday, May 9, 2013

The life of the Amish

The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. - See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/activities/amish-activities.asp#sthash.p505jtdL.dpuf
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. - See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/activities/amish-activities.asp#sthash.p505jtdL.dpuf
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. - See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/activities/amish-activities.asp#sthash.p505jtdL.dpuf
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. - See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/activities/amish-activities.asp#sthash.p505jtdL.dpuf
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. - See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/activities/amish-activities.asp#sthash.p505jtdL.dpu
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's Oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. About 30 minutes before we reached the town of Intercourse (yes, you heard that right), which is in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, we started seeing horsed pulled buggies and Amish people working the fields with antique equipment and horses. Children dressed in "plain clothes" (long dresses and head covers for girls, dark pants with suspenders, a white shirt and a straw hat for boys) on straw bales or in gardens, we really felt like we had entered another era... 
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. - See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/activities/amish-activities.asp#sthash.p505jtdL.dpuf


Since One of the Ten Commandments states that "Thou shalt not make any graven image unto thyself....", most Amish folks are not supposed to POSE for pictures, but most people are not too sensitive about pictures from behind or at a distance, so I was able to take some photos..
The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. - See more at: http://www.padutchcountry.com/activities/amish-activities.asp#sthash.p505jtdL.dpuf

They use of horse-and-buggy transportation and speak a Pennsylvania German dialect in church services and daily conversation. The vast majority of Old Order Amish communities meet in homes for religious services, wear distinctive plain clothing, and reject television, online access, and public utility electricity.



 We visited an Amish farm. I must say it bursted my Amish bubble quite a bit. The milking cows were tied up all day and did not go outside and fed grain that was not produce on the farm. The calves were separated from the mother in little white cells to which they are tied outside. They also used pesticides on the fields. Also, many of the houses are now built with vinyl siding and other "new" material instead of wood.

Just before we left the farm, the mother was trying to sell us some cookies and at the same time her 13 yo young girl was coming back from school on her antique scooter bike (they seem to use mainly that type of bike instead of pedal bike, which is probably more convenient with their clothing) in her plain dress and head cover... with skate shoes!
Most Amish homes in Lancaster today have beautiful kitchens with gas stoves, refrigerators (LP gas), hot water heaters, showers, indoor toilets, and sometimes, public sewer. Most would not include electricity. Fans, sewing machines and other items that may require a motor are usually run with compressed air motors. A diesel engine is normally used to run a compressor, which pushes air into a large storage tank for use as necessary. Pumps in wells are also run by air motors. Windmills are less and less common. Electric fences are used on the farm run by a small solar panel and battery. The principle generally set forth is that no wire should come into the home connecting it with the outside world. A phone in the shed, barn, cell phone or pager with no wires of course makes all that possible.
 :: The girls really enjoyed the buggy ride. One of the funniest things to see were the flashers on the buggies! ::
Children go to school up to 8th grade but cannot pursue higher studies. You can get a very good idea of what Amish school is like if you read the series of "Little House on the Prairie" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. These schools very much follow the pattern of what early 20th century schools were like in America. One room, one teacher, reading, writing, arithmetic and other basics are still the main stay.
I had in mind that the Amish were quite self-sufficient, but soon realized that they rely heavily on the outside market to buy their products and that they are really money-oriented...
::It's a good thing that they have a great natural food store with great prices and an amazing selection of things. They had tons of herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs at a really good price, local bee pollen, lots of local raw dairies and much more... ::
:: Homemade sourdough Amish pretzel: Yum! ::

9 comments:

isabelle said...

Ton article est très intéressant !
Merci Catherine.
j'aime tjrs te lire même en anglais.

Sarah-Our Island Home said...

Interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Catherine said...

Merci les filles! C'est gentil Isa de me dire ça. Je sais que ça fâche un peu certains. J'apprécie que tu continues à nous suivre quand même!

Maman Cane said...

Bonjour Catherine,
je n'écris pas souvent de commentaire, mais je tenais à vous dire que votre travail sur ce blogue est tellement enrichissant et intéressant. Un grand merci de nous faire voyager avec vous tous. C'est un réel plaisir! Et comme ''Isabelle'' l'a mentionné, j'aime également vous suivre en anglais!
Caroline.

Catherine said...

Merci Maman Cane! Ça me fait vraiment plaisir de vous lire! J'ai vraiment peu de commentaires et j'avais l'impression que je n'avais plus beaucoup de lectrices francophones!

Stephanie said...

my amish bubble is bursted as well! I always thought they were completely self-sufficient, farmed the old-fashioned way. I'm interested in visiting the community one day. I love this article xxx

Joanna said...

C'est génial de voir les photos car en lisant "The dirty life" où ils parlent des amish car c'est aussi ds le même état qu'ils ont leur ferme je n'arrivais pas trop à me faire une image de ces gens qui ont choisi un mode de vie si différents de nous. en fait je n'en avais jms entendu parler et ca me faisait un penser aux hassidiques, tellement ca à l'air d'un monde en soi.
OUI JE TE PRETERAI LE LIVRE AVEC GRAND PLAISIR TU VAS TELLEMENT TRIPPER c'est écrit avec bcp d'humour. dommage que vous avez pas pu passer visiter leur ferme, je suis sûre qu'elle doit être bien intéressante et que vous êtes passés proche: (voir le site : http://www.kristinkimball.com/)

gros becs, on a hâte de vous revoir!
jo

ps: par rapport au post sur n-y. OUI c'est tellement vrai que tes filles ont un super style! ca fait tellement du bien de pas juste voir du rose et des fleurs et des princesses disney sur leurs vêtements, je suis juste triste de ne pas avoir de fille pr pouvoir te racheter tt ce beau linge! leurs souliers (ds la photo du metro on voit les 3 filles avec les même souliers) ont l'air super cools aussi! j,en voudrais ben des pareils :O)

Catherine said...

Stephanie, a visit is worth it but it is pretty touristy... it's hard to get off the beaten path.

Jo, ils en vendent des souliers semblables pour adultes, c'est des espadrilles minimalistes Merrell...

Manuelle Oyhanto said...

Ouille ! mon fantasme amish en prend un coup... cela m'a beaucoup éclairée de te lire, merci !