Well Daisy celebrated her birthday this week. We spent the day driving around Lancaster, Blue Ball and the Amish Country. The day started with a breakfast buffet at a Yoders. Breakfast is free on your birthday! Wasn’t bad either. Lots of good breakfast food. After breakfast it was Daisy’s turn to decide what she wanted to do. We have always found the Amish and Meninite family lifestyle to be interesting so she decided to visit the Amish Home and Farm off of Route 30 near Dutch Wonderland.
This was a pretty neat place. It was built back in the early 1830’s, although no longer belonging to the Amish, it was kept as the Amish would have used it. Except that it now has electric lights. They have three basic tours you can pay for. Since it was Daisy’s birthday we took the premium tour which included a 90 minute guide tour of the Amish country, a walk through tour of the house and the farm buildings and animals.
The guide tour was, well ok. I did learn some things but the driver was hard to understand and we spent a third of our time at commercial businesses instead of learning more about the lifestyle and practices. Some interesting things I learned was that the Amish have Camels and Alpacas! They use the milk from the camels for different products and for people that have allergies to regular milk. How much do you think a gallon of camel milk cost: $5, $25, $100 or $125 a gallon? According to our guide it cost about $125 a gallon.
Back at the house we were guided through the house by another guide who contradicted the guide on the bus tour in some areas. But the tour itself was pretty good. We learned that the Amish are not that bad off. They DO have electric, just not from the power company. We saw houses with solar panels and the guides told us they do have generators. They also use powered farm equipment, they just can’t own it. In fact one of the stop we made on the tour of the farms they were working on a tractor while we were there. I always thought that they couldn’t use any motorized equipment.
The clothing was pretty much what we expected. We did learn a little bit about how to tell the difference between the married and unmarried Amish folks. Also learned that they can furnish their homes any way they want and even shop at Costco and Walmart as needed.
We finished our tour with the farm area. I found the tobacco area really interesting. Amish don’t smoke but they spend a lot of time and energy growing tobacco. Turns out it is a big cash crop for them. The tobacco barn had a lot of good information on how it is grown, harvested and processed for sale. Also got to feed some Alpaca. If I was ever to be a gentleman farmer, that is the animal I would have.
All that walking took a toll on us so we headed out to dinner. We missed lunch, so we were ready for Shady Maple! This is another one of those places that you eat free on your birthday. Got to love a cheap date! Shady Maple is an all you can eat buffet with good old fashion home food. One of our favorite places to eat, but we always over eat. Daisy was trying to be good and did pretty well until dessert. She had picked out a pudding for dessert and then saw the pumpkin roll, she had both. I won’t say how I did, but they have several desserts that are my favorite.
All in all a pretty good day here in Lancaster area. Once I get pictures off the phones will post them in this article, so be sure to check back.