I was very bad and I forgot to write about my trip to north eastern Ohio to Amish country. That area of Ohio has the largest concentration of Amish in the whole world and having always been fascinated by the Amish who live in my area I thought a little tour with the kids would be fun. I have always liked the Amish lifestyle because they live so harmoniously with the land they live on, they are self sufficient, and their children are truly delightful.
So…..we went to Millersburg, OH and Yoder’s Amish Home. It is a wonderful place to see how the Amish live and find out the history behind their faith and how there are different sects of Amish and how they are different than Mennonites. They actually all came from the same group of people but their views on modernization drove a rift between them.
Yoder’s Amish Home is actually a huge 116 acre farm that has preserved the Amish way of life. It feels as though you step back in time when you visit.
The farm has two different Amish homes on it…an older style for more conventional Amish and a new style that is used by the more modern Amish in the area. The newer Amish home is more modern with indoor plumbing, gas lamps, and tile floors. We had the opportunity to walk through both houses with a tour guide who explained all the Amish beliefs and gave us insight into the daily life of an Amish family. In the second house, the last stop is the kitchen, in which two young Amish women were baking cookies and blackberry and peach fry pies that were available for purchase in the next room. They looked so delicious we had to buy some and they were as good as they looked. Yum!
Both homes had established gardens where they grow all their own food. One garden was conveniently sitting just outside the kitchen door where you only had to go out a few steps to grab some veggies for dinner.
The property also has a big barn and a schoolhouse. The barn was a big highlight for my kids with chickens, turkeys, rabbits, puppies, kittens, piglets, cows, sheep, and of course HUGE draft horses. One of the young Amish boys was only too happy to go in the piglet’s pen and try to catch one for our amusement as they scurried and squealed. I think my kids loved the adorable pink piglets the best. I am also pretty sure that the boy who was trying to catch the piglets is the same boy in the picture above, (brown hat) just a few years older.
This reminds of something curious we learned about the Amish that day. The tour guide asked us not to take pictures of any of the Amish that were mulling around the farm. They believe that having their picture taken is like having a graven image made, which is forbidden in the Bible, so they do not allow pictures of their faces. Obviously the picture above shows a face so perhaps this does not apply to children…who are not baptized into the Amish faith until they are teens.
After the barn tour we all took a buggy ride which was my oldest son’s favorite part of the whole day. In typical mom fashion I thought the buggy went far to fast. :) We also went into an Amish schoolhouse where we met an Amish teacher and found out how the Amish parochial school system is run. I was fascinated by all the windows in the school, which are there no doubt to provide natural light in the absence of electric lighting. It was a quaint little school.
The last stop on the tour was the gift shop which had tons of handmade Amish gifts such as quilts, toys, and dolls. I couldn’t resist buying an authentic Amish doll which has no face…due to the graven images belief again. It is wearing the appropriate attire for a young Amish girl, who are permitted to where color only when they are young and not yet baptized. The doll is sitting on my book shelf in my bedroom now and she is a reminder of a very fun day.
On our way out of town we saw many Amish markets and did not have time to stop but I have plans to return soon to get homemade Amish cheese and wine. We can’t wait to go back!