A few more interesting tidbit about the Amish

Happy Tuesday, readers,

Today I’m trying to catch up on writing before the national ACFW conference in Indianapolis. But I’ve rather neglected my blog lately! I wanted to share a few more interesting facts that I learned from Linda Hitchcock from Glascow, Kentucky. Linda helped me tremendously while I was researching the Old Order Mennonites for A Little Bit of Charm. Many of the Amish farmers in Linda’s area have started growing strawberries commercially, while others have built hothouses to extend their growing season. Frequently raised vegetables are rhubarb, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, and pepper varieties. Here’s a photo of me standing in a field of soybeans. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Also I learned about another way the Amish make a living–bookmaking. A cobbler near Sheridan makes gorgeous, fit-like-a-glove leather boots. The boot-maker traces the customer’s feet for the pattern and sets to work. Then you go back a second time to pick them up. They won’t be cheap, but they also won’t hurt your feet.

I hope you’re all enjoying these warm days. It’s finally summer in Ohio! And the calendar says practically fall. Happy reading!  Mary

A visit back to Kentucky

Happy Monday, readers. I just heard from my friend and research contact to the Amish of Kentucky, Linda Hitchcock. She just came home from a trip to Simpson and Allen Counties. Not only did she discover a wide variety of produce, but some downright great bargains such as hand-woven straw hats for 6.00, and pickles, jams, jellies and relishes at $2.75 each. And the vendors were the friendliest she’d ever met. Besides watermelon rind pickles and chow-chow, they had “moonshine” jelly, brightly-colored pepper jellies, and jams with eye-catching names like TOE Jam, TRAFFIC Jam and FROG Jam. TOE has tangerine, orange and elderberry; traffic a mixed variety and FROG includes figs, raspberries, orange and ginger. While shopping, Linda was told that “Amish vendors must do something different to stand out these days.” The jam Linda purchased came from Spring Valley Farms, owned by the Habegger Family. Their label says: “Old Fashioned, All-Natural Home-Style Canning”. There’s a little circle which says “Preserving the Past” and a picture of two draft horse heads on the labels. The Habegger started making sorghum molasses in the mid-1960’s and has farms in both Holland, KY and Caneyville, KY.

Linda also learned that you can no longer purchase eggs from produce stands in KY unless they have refrigeration. And have you heard the term, “women of color” used in describing us outsiders? Linda learned it the other day. It doesn’t mean skin color, rather women who wear colorful clothing instead of the drab Amish attire.

I enjoyed meeting Linda while researching the Old Order Mennonites and Amish of KY in preparation to write A Little Bit of Charm. Thanks, Linda, for a look back at a beautiful part of the US of A.  Have a great week, readers. Mary

Little Bit of Charm, A