Recently we had the awesome opportunity to visit and tour a real Amish farm near our home. I am a huge fan of Amish fiction and have always wondered if there were any Amish communities nearby. I had searched online, but hadn’t come up with any results close to home. I was super surprised when someone from our homeschool support group posted about a field trip to an Amish farm very close by that I wasn’t even aware of! I was jumping on that opportunity!!
My children haven’t been exposed to much Amish culture aside from the few things I have told them while talking about some books I’ve read, so this was an entirely new experience for us. I personally was very curious how the Amish would compare to what I have read in my favorite books.
When we arrived, we were greeted by an Amish father and his dog. At the start, it looked much like any farm aside from the lack of cars and trucks. The farmer immediately started showing us to the barn where they had lots of horses, and to my younger daughter’s delight, a barn kitten. We then went into their little Amish store right on their property. They have all kinds of bulk foods, homemade jams, candies, and baked goods. We then were able to tour the property and see lots of neat things. They have lots of goats, and they actually milk the goats and sell the goats’ milk. It was very interesting to see the goat barn, the holding tank for the milk, and to watch one of the daughters milk the goats. Then we were able to look at some Amish farm equipment (non-motorized of course), and then watch one of the Amish sons plowing in the field using horses to pull the plow. It was quite the sight!
The children were able to feed some small goats, and then we saw some chickens and also got to play in the family’s backyard for a bit. They had a nice swinging rope and swing. I was actually surprised by the size of the home – thought we didn’t go in – it looked much larger than I had imagined while reading! The house looked very well kept as did the nice yard. The children really enjoyed it, and so did I. I found that what I had read really matched up well to the real life situation. It was neat to learn that the family had several married children as well, most of which lived very nearby, a few farms over one way, a couple farms over the other way. I really think that the life of the Amish is very appealing – so simple and quiet, but also very busy. I was asking my kids if they’d like to be Amish for a week. Most said they’d love to for a day, but they weren’t quite so sure about a week! They obviously noticed all the hard work that goes into running the farm, and how many things take much longer with the absence of electricity and vehicles. Personally, I’d love to be Amish for a week – cooking, cleaning, and just enjoying getting to know the people.
Amish don’t take photographs and don’t allow photographs of themselves to be taken, but we were able to take a few shots of the kids. It was a fabulous field trip, probably my favorite ever! Have you ever visited an Amish community?