When stepping foot on an Amish farm for the first time, feeling like you have been instantly transported back to 1800s era America is the most obvious initial impression everyone feels.
If you hail from a rural area, the differences between Amish life and life on your own farm or homestead are a lot less stark.
City folks who have only seen livestock in a petting zoo and have never touched a cow teat with their bare hands are typically in for a far more eye-opening experience.
Wholesome and busy. Those are the first two words that come to mind when describing what you see and feel when spending some time on an Amish farm, no matter where you are from.
The Amish are surely prepper, survival, and homesteading all-starts. Their way of life avidly wreaks of self-reliance and sustainability. They do not need to watch YouTube videos or read blog posts to learn how to do any of the farm chores they accomplish with vigor each day. Instead, those skills are passed down from generation to generation with hands-on training literally beginning around age two.
Related: 7 Amish “Powers” You Should Master Before The Next Crisis
A local Amish boy named David was hefting 50-pound bags of horse feed into my truck from his father’s farm business.
He was about 9 at the time and I felt a little bad watching him do all of the heavy lifting. I told him to make sure his dad paid him well for doing such hard work and doing it so quickly.
“This is like his college. David should be paying me for teaching him how to run the business,” his dad yelled out from his farm office while chuckling. Yes, the Amish do have a sense of humor.
The Amish, just like any other group of folks, are not a monolithic community. The “rules” of Amish life when it comes to technology in both simple and advanced forms, are agreed upon by each community and are not a rigid set of rules all Amish in America must follow. The rules can change over time by agreement by the community members.
For example, I once asked Ezra, my Amish farrier, if he knew if the Amish greenhouse in a neighboring village just across our county line was open for the season yet.
“I have no idea. Those are wild Amish, we do not associate with them at all.” Ezra replied.
I was of course curious and simply had to know what constituted “wild Amish.”
By and large, Amish are open to questions about their way of life when asked respectfully and out of genuine curiosity and not judgment.
So I asked.
“They ride bicycles. Even the women,” was Ezra’s response.
Yes, I laughed at his answer. I simply could not help myself. Doing so surely would have been considered ill manners had I not known Ezra for so long and counted him as a friend – and have had him shake his head and laugh at our “modern” responses to various situations, as well.
Exactly how the Amish power all of their farm work, home building, and various businesses again varies by community. When actively working on the side as a real estate agent, I had the distinct pleasure to venture inside many an Amish home.
Oh the yummy smells of homemade freshly baked bread and cookies in the old-fashioned oven, still make my mouth water. I am sure they may exist, but I have never met an Amish woman who was not both an excellent cook and baker.
The Amish farms in our county are all powered by wood burning stoves.
Related: How to Make Firebricks (fire logs) and Wood Stove Logs for Free!
But, in some Amish community elsewhere in Ohio, solar power is used for home and business power.
When buying a home instead of building it themselves, some Amish leave the electrical outlets, wiring, and plumbing in the walls and simply do not hook up those services. Others completely yank out all of the wiring, receptacles, and plumbing.
The Amish are very savvy businessmen. They know if all of the modern utilities are removed from the home, the resale value drops substantially, so leaving the unused modern conveniences in place is something they are willing to accept.
While horse-drawn farm equipment still reigns supreme in nearly all Amish farms, in some cases gas powered generators and gas powered equipment is used – in some communities.
That power source is not “tethered” to the land or the Amish home and does not connect them to the modern world in a tangible way, so it may be deemed acceptable.
The concept of “Rumspringa” is a uniquely Amish tradition.
It is a period of adolescence where Amish youngsters are allowed to leave the community and experience life outside their own.
Related: 10 Amish Survival Hacks
This period of soul-searching marks a transition from their childhood in the community to adulthood, and it’s up to them to decide whether they want to stay and continue farming or leave for a more “modern” way of life.
This period of self-reflection illustrates the Amish’s embrace of choice and individuality within the boundaries of their community’s traditions and beliefs.
A Woman’s Place…
Living outside of modern society to the most extreme extent possible is perhaps most evidently witnessed when watching the women and girls on an Amish farm.
The men are clearly in charge. That fact is likely obvious to anyone who has heard of Amish life, even if they have never passed a horse-drawn buggy going down the road or ever stepped foot on an Amish farm.
Yet, even though a woman is raised to know that the household and child rearing responsibilities will fall squarely upon her shoulders – and may feel like a glorified broodmare at some stage in her life, Amish wives are not two-dimensional creatures. Many of the Amish women in my rural community remind me a lot of our homesteading friends and our pioneering ancestors.
An Amish wife will take both great pride and joy in cooking full and hearty meals for her family, tending to the garden, and caring for the children.
⇒ The Long-Lasting Food That Amish Pioneers Turned To In Dark Times
But, she is a strong gal and steps up to work alongside her husband and son if a cow gets stuck in the mud, a kid is in distress and need pulled from its first time nanny mommy, or any other yucky, dirty, messy, issue that can (and does) pop up on farm – of the Amish variety of not.
No Pictures Please
Leave your cell phone in the car and just immerse yourself in the Amish farm tour experience. Amish folks as a whole, do not allow their photos to be taken.
You may ask how that worked when marketing that Amish Mafia reality show – that’s a question many Amish folks have shaken their heads in disbelief and asked, as well.
Now, if the image is taken at a distance and does not show distinct facial features, some Amish communities will allow images to be taken on their farm or at their business.
When I have needed some photos of an Amish farm for various writing projects or when marketing a farm tour for their community, I ask in advance and take photos from behind – like some adorable Amish children playing on a farm gate or my farrier working on my horse’s hooves.
That type of photo taking is usually, but not always, acceptable. Good manners can go a long way when wanting some keepsake images from your Amish farm visit.
Amish children are educated in a pioneer era or old-fashioned homeschool type of manner. While their formal academic education ends around age 13, the children are typically quite literate, excellent at math (making money is a high priority in the Amish community) and have an in-depth understanding of their faith and culture.
I was treated to a tour of the local Amish one-room schoolhouse. It was neat and orderly (just like an Amish home) , included a religious-based curriculum created by Amish for Amish, and even included a classroom pet – a cockatiel.
I told the children I had parrots. They knew what parrots were but had never seen one. The adult trained by the community to teach the children, gave me permission to show them a video of my parrots bobbing their heads and dancing about to jazz music. The children were enthralled, both at the colorful parrots and the fact they were watching them in a device I was holding in my hand.
When even an Amish child makes change for you at their farm or store, rest assured the amount will be accurate – without the need of ever using a calculator. In my experience, the Amish poppa would be highly displeased if the till was even a few cents off at the end of the day.
Amish Work Ethic
The work ethic of the Amish folks I have experienced on their farms and at their businesses is truly a timeless lesson in productivity and community. Growing up in such a modern century, it’s become easy to forget what hard work really means.
The advent of technology and modern conveniences has made our lives much easier compared to previous generations. But after spending time on an Amish farm during a recent visit, it hit me that something powerful lies beneath the surface of the deliberate, seemingly simplistic work practiced by these people.
The Amish believe that work is central to a meaningful life, a belief that is deeply rooted in their faith. It’s no surprise then that their strong work ethic permeates every aspect of their lives.
From the clothes they wear, to the food they eat, everything is produced through a rigorous and disciplined work process that is a stark contrast to the “fast-food” approach in mainstream society.
On the farm, I observed a range of labor-intensive activities, including field work with horses, harvesting crops, and milking cows by hand.
The Amish also manufacture their own furniture and build their own homes using traditional techniques passed down from one generation to the next.
But you don’t need to belong to an Amish community in order to achieve self-sufficiency or start living independently. There is a guide called No-Grid Survival Projects, specifically created for this purpose, which I highly recommend.
One thing that stood out for me was how the farm worked as a unit; everybody was assigned a task, and they worked together to accomplish their goals. There was no sense of hierarchy or competition, but rather a shared sense of responsibility and ownership of the work they were doing.
This community-first approach to work is something that has gone missing in our modern-day workplaces, where individualistic goals and career advancement have taken precedence over the collective good.
The Amish work ethic is so deeply ingrained in their community that even as society progresses, it remains largely unchanged. One key takeaway is the value placed on craftsmanship and mastery, which contrasts sharply with the “throwaway culture” that defines much of our consumer-driven society where people are content to buy and throw away new products without thought.
The Amish’s sustainable approach to farming, using traditional techniques that have been passed down for centuries, is a testament to their commitment to low-impact and high-quality living.
Ultimately, the Amish way of life offers a new perspective on work and what it means to be a part of a community. Although it’s certainly not feasible for everyone to adopt their lifestyle, studying the Amish work ethic can provide valuable insights for better understanding productivity in the modern era.
There’s no denying the impact of technology on our lives, but as the Amish have shown, there’s something to be said for valuing hard work, craftsmanship, and community as much as productivity and profits.
I believe my utmost important takeaway from visiting an Amish farm and getting to know the folks who comprise their community locally is not all of the major differences between our lifestyles, but the beautiful similarities.
The shared love of working the land, taking care of the family, wrangling animals, and harvesting from the garden, are all major facets of life in both Amish and homesteading/prepper families.
Try not to stereotype the Amish into a label that pigeon holes them or makes them the modern day equivalent of a traveling circus sideshow. Look past the plain and chaste clothing of the Amish and their aversion to cell phones, the internet, etc. and really see the people.
When I took my three young grandchildren with me to the farrier recently, they noticed none of the things I have noted as major cultural differences in this article. Instead, they just saw new friends to play in the dirt, puppies to cuddle in a shed behind the barn, and sweet fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies to snack upon in their not so clean hands.
You may also like:
12 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing Your Bug Out Location
What To Do With All Your Frozen Food Once The Power Goes Out (Video)
What Happens If You Put Silver In Milk?
The Most Common Plants Venezuelans Are Using To Treat Themselves After The Pharmacies Ran Dry
if you’ve dealt with the Amish and Mennonite communities – first thing you need to know – there aren’t any hard set standard rules of what is acceptable or not acceptable for the use of “modern” >>> it varies between individual families and sect to sect – in general they aren’t plugging into an outlet or driving anything motorized ….
around the huge Amish/Mennonite area in Northern IN – almost everyone has a job “off the farm” – many live in the small towns and are second generation non-farmers – you go into the fabric/sewing of the local Wally World and there’s good chance you’ll find a Mennonite lady clerking the department – even using the computerized cash register – they find jobs that don’t violate their religious convictions and an understanding employer ….
anything battery operated is now commonly acceptable – even cell phones – as long as the charger is already plugged in – the phone, tool, flashlite ect ect can be re-charged – not uncommon to see a bunch of common use chargers in public places ….
another oddity you used to see common in Amish Country was roadside telephone “shacks” – dying out now with cells – the phone company would run a line into the building – from what I was told it varied from operator only dial to full phone service including fax machines – probably got internet now >>> they all have their own set rules they follow
Looking for a home in South Eastern Ohio – found Amish there that used batteries (have AR15’s – and an occasional bottle of booze stashed about) and gas powered lights. My mother-in-law lives by them – everyday buggies go down her street. In the late summer we’ve even seen a buggy blasting music with rave lights on it as younger Amish walk beside it with glow sticks singing rap songs. Or seeing them drink beer at the local sports bar with their odd-shaped bowl haircuts. The Amish are indeed evolving (for better or worse)!
They do not have AR-15’s, they don’t believe in violence like the Right Wing gun nuts do.
You’re right I’m making it up…
shrieks the Karen. The only kind of self righteous bigot POS who would take an article about the Amish and turn it into some hate drenched anti self defense Bolshevik rant.
Doctor Frankenstein called, you’re due back at the lab to help your boy toy get his neck bolts tightened. And for your voice lessons, so you can do something else besides hiss like a cobra
They may not believe in violence. However, they do believe in hunting for food. I use my AR for deer hunting. I imagine they do as well.
I have Amish friends that own AR15s and they are responsible enough to use them properly. Not for killing people!
The article is about hwta happened when someone visted an Amish community? What? Did the Amiash teach you about how a christian should be, and not a racist trump supporter? And sis you see anyone telling them that their children are collarteral damage in school shootings? Did you see anyone telling folks to go back to their country? No, because they are not sleazy trump supporters.
Seriously Lisa, how did you become so stupid? Did you have to attend a DemoCommunist training camp? Did you just get it all by listing to DemoCommunist party leaders or by watching MSNBC AND CNN?
shrieks the Karen, who obviously doesn’t believe in GOD at all.
Know how you can tell? Self righteous communist bigots like her only pray when there’s a shooting, that the shooter will turn out to be an actual “right winger” NRA member who is a white guy married to a woman and goes to church. And THIS NEVER EVER HAPPENS. Its always some nut case spewing Una Bomber screaming greenie garbage, or some schizo off his meds, or in recent times, some Pinocchio tranny who wants to be a “real boy” even though SHE has XX chromosomes and was born with a vagina
Which is why Karens like her don’t pray.
there was both Amish and Mennonites that attended GOP campaign swings during both Prez Trump’s campaigns >>> they don’t run for public office but have the very same concerns as any other family & property owner – they were wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of everybody by rejecting anything mass media
Such hostility. Nearly 20 million African Americans murdered by Democrat-supported abortion programs, since 1973. Democrat policies foster idleness, generational addiction to welfare, poverty, drug use, and violence, among others. Of the 14 most dangerous cities in the US, 12 of them are and have been run by Democrat mayors.
If you read the Bible and find hate for others, you’re doing it wrong. If you read the Bible and can’t wait for others to burn in Hell, you’re doing it wrong. If you read the Bible and justify sin with it, you are most certainly doing it wrong.
My husband and I deal with the local Amish all the time. My husband buys scrap wood and sawdust from their sawmill and I get a lot of my bulk food stuff from the local Amish store. I also attend Farmers’ Market with them. They buy from me almost as much as I purchase from them.
The local Amish’s sense of community is amazing. We could learn a lot from their healthcare system. They don’t pay for social security (though they do pay other taxes like property, personal property, and sales tax,) because they take care of their own. If someone needs medical care, the whole community steps in and helps pay the bills.
Great article and comments.
The Amish are part of our American heritage they what we Americans have lost over the years. Americans have gotten soft with the laziness of high tech toys.
Lot’s of kids are not very physically fit to do any yard work anymore. They become fat, lazy and stupid. The only exercise is strong texting fingers and lung exercise smoking weed.
The competitive edge America had is rapidly disheartening forbore our eyes.
The younger generations 2-5 yr old’s can program a smartphone better than an adult.
But is that what we expect in our kids to be, work at home tech wizards?
I want my kids to be able to do traditional things like actual school book learning, three ‘R’s and some sports.
College is nothing more than re-education camps for most students anymore.
Work at home plumbers and electricians on computers, trying fix a physical problem would soon loose money and starve to death, ha, ha.
Work at home computer craze is a big flop for most people. They loose the physical interactions with coworkers at the office building.
People not working period, who is supporting the welfare, freeloaders and senior’s medicare and social security programs?
If everyone is on the dole, no taxes are funding the social govt programs. Things start collapsing.
Am glad The Amish and other groups still have the traditional work ethic that is fading in America.
Great article, and prepers can learn a lot from the Amish old school ways of living. Somethings never go out of style, and no nonsence simple skills will allow you to survive and thrive many hardships. Hard work never killed anybody, and there is no better satisfaction like completing a job well done. Glad I found your site, and look forward to more sensible content in the future. With the exception of stupid comments like the ones from Lisa up above any way. Ha! Ha! Ha! Thank You, from a non racist Trump Supporter !
Claude, I would like the special book offer at $39.00;however, I have no way to access the books or print them to read later. Digital Copies will not work for me.
Wanted you to know I have purchased most of the books offered here. And what is great is you are offered digital, physical or in most cases, both when checking out. So I take advantage of both so I can start reading right away, but the physical book comes usually within a week of ordering.
To my dear Lisa,
I’m Lisa’s wife of 5 years now. She can be a real pain at times. I wish she would stay off this website. We were happy together, she is obsessed with this blog. Please come back to our happy space, please?
Please take her! It’s a shame you people think we are hostile. We aren’t, we are just preparing for what may come. Unfortunately, Martha, it doesn’t look good for any of us. May you and your wife share many happy years together.
I have read the comments posted here and I can’t understand why anybody would want to mock the Amish or their way of life. Ignorance would be my first guess. I have been associated with the Amish, mostly in Holmes County OH for the past 40 years. As a whole, they are some of the best people I have ever known. I have made many friends in that time. I have enjoyed their family outings and get togethers, and their food. Their harvest, their auctions, horse sales, progress days, along with daily chores. Clean, honest, mostly friendly and always polite.
Everything they do is family oriented. The children work alongside their parents and play together much better than children in our communities do. They grocery shop like anyone else but they also can and preserve the things they grow and harvest. They plant, cultivate, and harvest all summer and fall so they can feed their animals and their selves all year long. “Super preppers”. It is their way of life.
There is very little going on commercially on Sunday in Amish country. No stores or Amish restaurants open. That is their day for worship and rest. Only essential chores are done on Sunday such as milking and feeding the animals. They could do some things easier with more modern techniques, but they like it the way it is, so who are we to Falt that.
They have no divorce, and near 0 crime. They have a good way of life in a strong self-sufficient community. If the electrical grid goes down, they will have to make little adjustment to carry on normal life. They all have gasoline or diesel generators for their business that need some form of electricity and to recharge their battery powered lights. The dairies need it for refrigeration.
As much as I like their way of life it would be hard at my age to adjust to some of their ways of life but I still think the rest of the people in this country could learn a lot from their attitude and way of life.
I was once, back in1997, invited to an Amish barn raising. There were about 140 neighbors and friends invited to build a barn at one of my friend’s son’s farm. We built a 2-story barn 20X36 in one day. Just like in the movies. Only one professional carpenter and two sons there. All the rest were just neighbor farmers with a hammer, quick square, and a nail apron. No power equipment. Only 2 of us that were not Amish. Everybody seemed to know what to do. We all worked together very well with very little supervision. About 40 Amish ladies made lunch, which was great, like a very large picnic. It was one of the very special, memorable days of my life. They are very skillful, respectful Christen people. ” Super Preppers”
There occasional trolls that like to interject useless hateful comments to a learning blog. As mentioned by other regulars on this blog site, who are tired of the trolls.
I think i have been blocked lol. If so because I have done nothing to get blocked I will stop reading content because I don’t need it. I was just trying to help. My other email I think is blocked.
Well, I guess the author has never been to Arthur Illinois where not only to some Amish have electricity in their homes — including modern bathrooms, stoves, dishwashers etc. Some of the women even own ‘Yoder’s’ an Amish restaurant in the town.
Will they use their knowledge and skills to help outsiders? If I can find someone that builds or repairs buggies, I have an 1890s Dr buggy that got caught by the wind a while back and suffered significant damage.
The box/body got ripped off of the running gear in addition to some minor damage to the box that was preexisting.
There are several buggy manufactures in Holmes County, Ohio. I am sure somewhere around Millersburg, Berlin, Mount Hope, Sugar Creek, Walnut Creek, You can find a buggy repairman that have parts. It is the center of one of the biggest Amish settlements in the country. If you are within driving distance it would make a great vacation drive. There is nothing open on Sunday and only restaurants, groceries stores, and tourist places are open on Saturday. Buggy shops and normal business are mostly closed on Saturday too. There is somebody in that County that can fix any buggy needs.
Great article. Gov’t has been attacking the Amish farms, part of Obama’s and Klaus Schwab agenda 2030. We as Christian patriots and lovers of freedom and good food need to step in with gunz blazing if need be to protect these people – they are resources and we can be theirs. Find out what you can do, what help they’ll accept from you. Lots of farms under some kind of rule change and no one but the AC approved it. The man of sin must lose this battle!
Meh Amish buy their baking products from Walmarts.
They eat out and go do things. They rely heavy on the English to do anything and make a profit.
Here in central KY I have Amish neighbors and deal with them on an almost daily basis. They are good neighbors to have but I believe it is a misconception to think they are all that independent, they use my cell phone more than I do, as someone stated above they use gas and diesel engines for many things when the electric stops so doe’s the gas and diesel fuel. Wife took em shopping yesterday to Ruler and Walmart, we have local Amish stores nearby guess how they got their delivery’s made, I’m way ahead of them when it comes to some things in the garden and other areas, so yes they depend on us English for a lot of things but all in all they are good neighbors to have.
I’ve been around Amish communities in a couple different places. What they are allowed/not allowed to do in regards to using modern things typically falls upon the Bishop to decide. Some ride bicycles while others can use bicycles only as scooters, with the chain and pedals removed. Some have phone shacks. Some still revert to speaking Pennsylvania Dutch between themselves, saving English for those outside any Amish order.
I was stunned the first time I saw a middle-aged Amish man use a calculator and answer a telephone. We both remembered a time where that would never be allowed.
Recently I was in an Amish business, ready to pay. The young man who was new could not do simple math. There was no modern calculator, and he used an old (mechanical) adding machine to ring up my order. I had already added it in my head. He couldn’t make change, either. I usually have exact change, but didn’t on this day, and told him how much change I needed. I hope his number skills improve. He is old enough to have learned how, but perhaps nobody taught him.
I was in one modern grocery store when the power went out. The young cashier confused to me that she was glad she had mostly older people in her line, as they know how to make change. I told her it was a skill worth learning.
Maybe that young man had a learning disability.
People with values , Integrety, Respect for others, Self, family , thier Beliefs
No lazy slots , pervs, retrobates or the likes
More than I can say for the rest of the countrys
I love my God, My family , My beliefs , And Especially my right to protect
anyone, anywhere, anytime
True american Dreams
Life , Liberty, Persuite of Prosperity