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Sunday, October 16, 2011

[Amish Country] Counter-modernized civilization

As I wrote in the previous Smorgasbord post,
I have longed to see Amish country for many years.

And tara~
I was in Lancaster Pennsylvania for a long weekend.

Personally I loved it.
It was a great weekend, 
and I want to visit it again~

There were so many things to see, food was amazing,
and people were super friendly.

After lunch at Good n' Plenty restaurant
(I'll post about this lunch soon),

we went to see the almost-60-year old kitchen kettle village where
famous canning kitchen with kitchen/food specialty shops and Amish village wagon rides are run.

Kitchen Kettle village is located in Intercourse.

First we booked for a buggy ride to secure our seats in a buggy :)
There were also 60 minutes rides too.

Then we went off to look around shops quickly before the ride.

Pablo asked to be lifted (as usual)

So he was lifted as he asked. 
He is five years old, but weighs only 37 pounds. :(

This is "the" shop to see as it is the first original Kitchen Kettle Village shop.

Street names were very cute in the village.

Now it was almost time for a buggy ride.
We could see a few Amish girls/ladies working in a non-Amish environment.
Actually, they were pretty well blended in.

Remi was waiting for the buggy ride.

Then it was our turn.
It was almost a family picture, but Remi was sitting across from me.

Here is Remi, my love.
The guide lady offered a front seat next to hers, but Remi turned it down.

That's how Pablo and Mr. D sat just behind the horses, but in front of  the rest of us.

Then off we went~

There were several Amish furniture shops in Lancaster.
They are all hand-made and very nice, 
But, there was no way to bring it back home. :(

Lancaster county is well-known for Amish tobacco farming.
Well, it's a bit controversial that Amish people who don't smoke in their culture, grow tobacco.
Despite criticism by some of their own people,  
many Amish farmers continue to raise tobacco as it is a real cash crop.

We stopped by a farm where two Amish girls were selling lemonade and whoopie pies.
One special thing about Amish girls are they are often on their bare feet.

Remi had a whoopie pie~
Whoopie pie is a signature pie/cookie of Amish country.
Pablo was napping during the buggy ride! 
He fell asleep about 2 minutes after he sat behind the horses.


Well, Amish prohibition against modern technology, and, especially the automobile,
Amish farming machines and tractors are so different.
If I remember correct, this was a corn crop harvesting(cutting) machine.

** and the Amish photos in this post were taken throughout our stay. **

Amish farming mostly uses horse power and mule power.

I took this picture from the hotel(train motel) we stayed.
I loved watching her farming.

She was also on bare feet.

She must have noticed me taking the photos,
but she didn't really care.

On the other hand, 
there was a young Amish man who certainly didn't want to be taken photo.
Sorry Mister.

I saw many more mules last weekend than I had seen in my life.

Tractor is not allowed to be used in Amish farming because it is so similar to automobiles.
Both were self-propelled and could be driven about freely.
Well, guess what. Amish people don't even ride bikes because it's "almost" self-propelled.

Mule powered hay baler :)

These were the most funny looking sheep I saw.

Amish can ride scooters instead.

No matter how old s/he is, an Amish rides scooter.

Amish people walk a lot and do lots of physical work because their culture refuses to adapt and become dependent on modern technology.

So it's very hard to find an overweight Amish.

And all the married Amish men grow beard.
They never grow mustache though.

These are Amish buggies.
It's kind of Amish car.

You can see horse & buggy parking at any Lancaster super market.
(I took this picture at Giant Supermarket parking)

Amish buggies uses only steel wheels.

We stayed in a train motel in the last night in the  middle of Amish county.
I heard horse-

Amish school is all one-room school and there are about 200 schools in Lancaster.
Kids start to learn English at school.
Their first language is Pennsylvania dutch which is similar to German.
Church services are in high German.

Amish has its own school system which consists of only 8 years of scholastic years.

All Amish boys have a same haircut, i.e. bowl cut!

Amish women never cut their hair.
So, even a very young girl has long hair, which they wear in a bun on the back of the head.

I find all Amish girls were beautiful!

A typical farm at Lancaster.
Most farms have multiple silos for storage.

You can tell if it's an Amish house very easily by a few clues.
First, as they don't use a dryer, Amish women hang the washed clothes on the rail out of the house.

And they wear only certain colors.

A typical Amish family has 8 kids on average.

If you were wondering why,
that is why there are so many clothes hung out of an Amish house.

Another clue is Propane tank.
Amish houses don't use electricity,
each house has a huge propane tank in its backyard.
A propane tank size is about the size you see at Costco.

And the Amish houses have buggy garage together with a stable.

This is a typical exterior of an Amish house.

Isn't this horse cute? :)

Lancaster is definitely a farming town.

I loved Lancaster scenery.

You can see Amish yard sales everywhere.

On Sunday,
Amish people wear neat, or rather more neat clothes for church services.

Now we came back to Kitchen Kettle Village~

There was a little concert in the courtyard.

We liked the music :)

Amish boys were selling horse shoes just outside of Jam and Relish Kitchen.

Shop was much bigger than expected.
I didn't imagine you can fill a shop only with jams and relish,
But there it was.

And there were lots of people inside.

There were a few other things than relish or jam.

I was about to buy and try this dried soup mixes.

It looks pretty good, no?

I don't know why, but, I'm a person who has to make soup from the scratch. :(

You could sample as well.

Remi brought out some chips for his brother too :(

And that was the last activity of the day :)

We did more things than just seeing Amish life and Lancaster scenery.

So, there are more posts coming :)

But, this was more than enough for one post.

Have a nice Sunday~

Amish Country 
- Pennsylvania Dutch Country


  1. If any Amish wants to be out of their village, can they live and go to school outside? Their village and life are interesting though.

  2. Hi Froggy,
    Well, that is not an option for a kid unless his or her family decide not to live as Amish. Once kids turn 16, they can choose either way, before they are christened. They don't usually get christened before 18.

    Once a kid decide not to join the church, she or he can live as s/he wants. However, s/he will be shunned by her/his own family and the community.

    1. They will only be shunned if they left the community AFTER joining the church. They typically join at about 18-25yrs old. In some cases the family will still communicate with the person after excommunication, but that's rare.

    2. Hi Sarah,
      that's what I figured. Thanks for the explanation. It clarifies a lot. Thanks for you comment! Much appreciated.