It is the harvest season in Amish Country in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Enjoying a rainy day with a dear friend, a short visit through the rich farmland and the large homesteads impressed me as to how hardworking the Amish are.
The Amish Church originated in Switzerland in 1693, and many migrated to Pennsylvania in the 1720’s. Known for their simple ways of living, plain dress, and shunning modern conveniences in their home, the Amish are 250,000 strong. With the largest community in Lancaster County, the lifestyle of an earlier century survives in the 21st century. Oddly enough, there are no Amish in Europe in current day. All of the Amish reside in either the United States or Canada.
Of Swiss-German descent, the Amish maintain their Pennsylvania Dutch language at home, and speak English outside of the household. School is offered through the eighth grade, when the children are released to work on the family farm. Taking an Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Ride located next to the Plan & Fancy Restaurant that was featured on the Travel Channel Show Man vs. Food, we had the opportunity to visit a dairy farm in Intercourse, Pennsylvania and to get close and personal with their way of life.
The harvesting of the field corn is a full family effort. Their father is out in the field with a mule team using a thrasher that knocks down the corn stalks and culls the corn ears into a large collection bed.
The older son then comes to collect the corn bin to store the corn cobs in the barn. With his little brother in tow, he worked steadily to get the crop in for the winter.
Then using an air compressor to energize the corn conveyor belt each ear of corn is painstakingly moved onto the belt to be moved onto the huge pile of corn in the barn.
That is one huge pile of corn !
One can only be impressed by the amount of work just a small family can accomplish. In current day, about 50% of the Amish population continue to farm, while the remaining Amish find work in construction, retail and other related industries. Much of the Lancaster farmers are dairy farmers growing corn, alfalfa and hay for cow feed.
Rain or shine, the Amish work their farm knowing that their livelihood depends on it. I bet they sleep well at night after a good day of work!
To see my photo gallery from this photo field trip, please visit my smugmug website: