Ambling through Amish Country

During our time in Ohio we spent a couple of days in Amish Country, which is what we call the area in and around Holmes County. South of Akron, this area has a large number of Amish farms and businesses, and makes for a fascinating visit. We also tried several restaurants that serve really good food ( it seems like all of their recipes start with a stick of butter). The farmland view below came from a balcony on a hilltop Amish restaurant.

Looking out across Amish farms and homes.

Lehman’s advertises itself as providing tools, utensils, and supplies that you need to live the simple life. The store has grown much larger than it was when we visited 20-30 years ago, but still carries food canning, curing, and drying supplies; wood-burning stoves; sewing and weaving supplies; bee-keeping and gardening items; and a host of other hard-to-find stocks. Look them up online and you can see some of their merchandise.

Entrance to Lehman’s hardware store, home of all kinds of tools and products for “simple living.”

We also stopped by an Amish grocery/bulk food store, and you can see one of my favorite shoppers wandering the store below. The shelves on both sides of this aisle held bags of spices, specialty flours, different kinds of beans, various types of noodles, and other such foods offered in bulk.

Bulk foods and ingredients in an Amish store.

The store carried fresh local produce, including the volleyball-sized cabbages and the softball-sized white onions seen below. They also offered homemade, hand-dipped ice cream, but we ate that rather than taking pictures.

Cabbage and other produce on sale in grocery section of Amish store.

Many of the parking areas and roads in this area had to accommodate horse-drawn buggies as well as cars and trucks. Most of the buggies carried headlights and taillights for travel at night, although the one below does not seem to have any. This made night driving on the back roads a little too exciting, as you never knew when you might go over a hilltop and find a buggy or wagon ahead. The Amish families typically do not have electricity in their homes, but we were told that they use solar panels to charge batteries for the buggy lights.

Parking for Amish buggies as well as suburban mini-vans.

The photo below shows part of a large number of Amish buggies parked near a benefit auction being held to raise money for a local family. You can also see two Amish girls on electric bicycles, one carrying a couple of meals, on their way up the street.

Amish transportation: count the buggies, but don’t ignore the electric bikes.

In addition to enjoying the relaxed pace of life and the Amish ambience, we also noticed the Lutheran church that Dorcas’s grandfather pastored. This was in the farming community of Mount Hope, in Holmes County, Ohio, right in the middle of Amish Country.

LCMS church in Mount Hope, Ohio. We need to edit out the phone lines, though.

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