By: Jennifer Yoder
Growing up in Holmes County, Ohio’s Amish Country, I never fully appreciated just how lucky I was. Looking back, one of my favorite things to do was go to my grandma’s house on Saturday afternoon. The afternoons that I loved the most were the ones when we got in her jeep and traveled the few miles from Farmerstown to Charm, getting excited and pointing out all the horses along the way.
We would end up at a quaint little country shop called Millers Dry Goods. As a kid, I thought the store was a magical place. There were fabric and quilts of all kinds in all colors of the rainbow, buttons and all of the sewing and quilting notions imaginable. The quilts ...
Occasionally we are asked questions from our guests about the “farming animals” of Ohio’s Amish Country. It’s always fun to share the things we’ve learned and today we would like to share a little about the Draft Horse. There are 5 “official” breeds of Draft Horses; Belgian, Percheron, Clydesdale, Shire, Suffolk and Paint. Just like there are many different breeds of dogs in the “Working Class” of the dog world (like Sheep Dog, Police Dog, etc), the Draft Horse is the “Working Class” of the horse world. Often called “Gentle Giants”, these behemoths were bred to assist the farmer in the fields with plowing ...
Ruby-Throated Humming Birds. They arrive each year on May 1st. One can almost set a "calendar clock" because of their punctuality. The first to arrive at A Valley View Inn are two pairs, followed within a few days by another pair or two. From past experience, we know that we have to have at least two feeders filled & hanging on the back deck. Two aren't necessary for the amount of feed needed - it's just that they are very "territorial" and one feeder can cause too much competition.
As the season progresses, the females begin nesting while the males vie over who gets "seniority rights" over each feeder. Within a few weeks it is necessary for u ...
By Nancy Lembke
The relentless wind and rain strip the colored leaves from the maple trees, but the brown leaves cling tenaciously to the oak trees. Fire bushes proudly display their appropriately named fire-red leaves a while longer, but within another week or two, they will also succumb to a season of rest.
Across the hills, one can see rows of corn shocks looking like soldiers standing tall as sentinels and guardians of their domain. Small field mice find shelter and food within their silent stalks. In the twilight hours of the evening, whitetail deer nibble on the fodder as they wander across fields to find safety in the woods.
The hummingbirds have long-since begun their migration so ...
By: Gwen Miller
Back in 2002, I came across a pretty neat find at my grandfather’s auction in Monroeville, Ohio. My grandfather, Clemens Smith, owned a large dairy farm until he passed away at the age of 92. For now, I’m going to digress a little from that story but I’ll come back to it in a bit, in order to ask you a question: Have you ever seen an Amish barn raising?I have lived in Amish country my entire life and I’ve never seen an Amish barn raising. My husband, who grew up Amish, has been to some in the 1980s and I heard word of one going up near Benton Ohio a few years back, after a fire burned down the original barn.Now you might ask, & ...
For those of us living in the Sugarcreek area and the eastern part of Holmes County, it’s that time of year again – Swiss Festival time! It’s always scheduled to start the last week in September. Most of the natives have Swiss ancestry, so it’s a celebration of the Swiss culture of the area that made Sugarcreek the “Little Switzerland of Ohio. It’s also the unofficial kick-off to the the fall season in Ohio’s Amish Country.Our Swiss backgroundWhen western Tuscarawas county was first settled in the early 1800s, many of those first settlers were of German and Swiss descent. Most of those immigrants were expert farmers bringing their knowledge to the Am ...
Ever dreamed of having a big year? If you’re an avid bird lover like the young Amish lady named Sue who works at Sojourner’s Lodge, you definitely do! All I have to do to see her eyes light up is ask her which birds she has spotted lately. One thing many visitors to Holmes County might not know about the Amish is that quite a few of them are bird enthusiasts. It is truly amazing to me, an amateur birder at best, how Sue is able to identify a wide variety of birds by sight and sound. Recently Sue visited Funk Bottoms, a place in Wayne County. When asked what birds she saw there, she exuberantly began listing bird after bird. Last week she saw: R ...
The sun hasn't risen yet so the only visible sights are the half-crescent moon and a few stars. In a nearby tree an owl calls softly, a similar response comes from deep within the 30 acres of woods behind the Inn. About 12 miles to the north the red lights of a tall radio tower near Berlin can be seen through the motionless leaves of the trees.Ever so slowly the darkness is replaced by the soft glow of daylight. The chirp of crickets diminish but in a matter of seconds the clear single-note song of a Cardinal begins. Methodical yet lovely in it's own way, he continues to greet the new day from his perch in a nearby Cherry tree. The landscape is becoming more visible as the stars and mo ...
What does Amish-style cooking really mean? Do the Amish always have a big meal for dinner? Do they eat chicken and mashed potatoes every day? These are questions visitors ask the cooks of Holmes County after a hearty meal in their home.
Recall the early beginnings of the culture in the 1800s when they moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio? They moved because they were looking for good farm land to grow crops, raise a large family and make a living at farming.
I personally was raised on a large farm. My mother did not work away from the home and raised seven children. Dad spent countless hours in the fields and he always expected a hearty meal at noon to fuel his energy to continue on throughout ...
This morning as I was spreading my honey on my toast, a flood of memories came back of my childhood. We had food traditions and I believe many families do, not only among the Amish.
On Saturday afternoon my mom would bake bread and we'd sit and spread butter and honey on it while it was still warm.
When we'd have summer rainstorms, we'd celebrate with popcorn and grape juice. That was a Sunday afternoon special too.
When we'd get a snowstorm, we’d make homemade ice cream.
When we had birthdays, we'd have homemade pizza, or ordered in if we got lucky.
Saturday night dinners were usually hot dogs and ice cream.
Sunday mornings, when we had church, it was coffee soup. ( ...