And share the farm!
Having our farm return to a working farm is a dream come true for me. But I never dreamt Mountain Glory Farm would be part of a new Amish farming community! We are very happy to announce that an Amish family will be moving to the Farm in October 2012 to set up residence and begin traditional farming. Several Old Order Amish families moved to our local area last November from Ohio.
The eldest married child of one of these families will be moving to the Farm to begin dairy farming. Enos and Barbara Miller will build a small dwelling and an Amish barn and silo opposite our (newly reclaimed) heirloom apple orchard.
I have been reading as much as possible in order to better understand Amish culture. Subsequently, I discovered that some of the assumptions I had from visiting Lancaster, PA many years ago do not apply to Old Order Amish communities. Although united in a common religion, the Amish differ greatly in certain customs and traditions. Our newly arrived families from Ohio are from the oldest and most formal Old Order Amish community.
So it is very important that I share with you what life on the farm will be like in the future. Firstly, the two apartments in the farmhouse will continue to be rented as they have in the past. The walking trails may be repositioned slightly to accommodate the farm animals but will cover the same territory on the farm as before. The farm is still yours to enjoy including our wonderful reclaimed orchard!
The only major change is that our guests will be asked to follow a few courtesies that our Amish tenants require in order to live in peace on this farm. Those courtesies are as follows:
1st and foremost: No photos please, from any distance, of Amish people. Old Order Amish are very, very serious about this as it is against their religious beliefs. So please do not even consider asking them for a photo. Feel free to photograph the farm, the animals and the views.
2. Since our Amish family will grow their own food, do not use electricity, do not drive any form of motorized vehicle or farm equipment, and have an infant son, their time is very precious. So we ask that you exchange pleasantries but not engage them in long conversations. A friendly wave will suffice. I put all the Amish books I read in the apartments for you to read. Most likely, the answers to your many questions about Amish life are in those books. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help.
3. Please do not feed their farm animals.
4. Please respect their “private” residential space which is marked on the map of the farm.
There will be many extended family members visiting the Millers and helping them develop the farm. So you may see a dozen or more Amish at any given time coming or going in buggies or working in various fields. The courtesies listed here apply to all Amish people on the farm. **Please note that young Amish children do not learn to speak English until they are 6 to 7 years old. They only speak their native Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. Therefore the children are quite shy and may not respond to your friendly overtures.
Lastly, and on a very personal note, the temptation to “record” images of my Amish neighbors lingers with me all the time. I have discovered how truly spoiled I am at not being able to “have what I want” photo-wise. Watching my neighbors work and play and raise a 5 story barn this past June and work in the fields with their horses and wagons is like being in another world. It is impossible not to want to record these amazing photographic images but your cooperation is imperative.
With warm regards, Christina Shipps & Glenn Gray