Monday, October 09, 2006

A Fun Two Days

For the past two days, we have had the most enjoyable experience, participating in the "Harvest Festival" at The Amish Farm & House on Route 30, east of Lancaster.

I have been trying to capture a picture like this for some time, but the light was never right, or the clothes line was too far away. Today, as we walked on the grounds, there was the wash hanging above the road between the house and some of the outbuildings. The sun was still pretty low in the sky and it made a nice composition with the windmill.

Our mom was always fascinated by the Amish clotheslines. Usually they are a line strung around two pulleys. One pulley will be on the porch of the house and the other will be attached to an outbuilding or large pole.

The clothes would be clipped onto the line and then it would be moved out, making room for the next piece. Usually, the clothes are hung according to size and since the families are often large, it is a sizeable amount of laundry and very picturesque as the items range out along the line. Traditionally, wash was done on Mondays, so The Amish Farm & House hangs out their wash faithfully on Mondays. I suspect with the size of the families, washday often runs into Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday if necessary!

The windmill is a familiar sight in our county. It is often used by Amish families to pump their water from the well.

What a pleasant bunch of people. The folks who work there seem to enjoy their work and each other. The visitors were as fascinating to us as the Amish lifestyle and the crafters'demonstrations were to them. I have no idea how many languages I heard being spoken in the past two days.

We put our crafters' tent up in front of the Blacksmith's Shop, the white building to the right. The bell was actually rung today at 10:45 along with all the church bells in the Lancaster area to commemorate the murders of 5 Amish school girls last week at that time.

The vine is a Hyacinth Bean Vine. That was the vine we grew up the whole way to the top of the second story of the addition to our shop at the Renn Faire well over 12 years ago. It was a great year and so it always brings back happy memories.

The little white bulbous thing on the left of the roof is a lightening "rod". It certainly wasn't on the highest point of the farm, but at least we got a good view of it!

On Sunday, we made three batches of soap, explained and answered many questions. It was nice to find that the old "patter" still comes just as easily as it did years ago.

We were asked to return again today and just couldn't pass it up even though we really needed to go on a supply run. We took the soap back that we made yesterday and very slowly cut it and trimmed it so there was always soap in various stages on display.

On Sunday, the potter/gift shop manager was across the street from us. Today, however, her spot became an Amish Bakeshop.

Shortly after we got there and set up, an Amish family came in and began putting things out on the tables.. Pies, cookies, canned goods, hotpads and many more lovely things.

Later in the day, the "pie wagon" arrived. We heard the clopping of the horse coming in the road behind us and a short time later, the man who drove them there came in pulling the converted buggy. He parked it right across from us where we could study it and exclaim about the wisdom of the design and then the yumminess of its contents!

The crowds were more sparce today and we took our own tour of the grounds...

It is hard to believe this little piece of Heaven is right off a main highway and now surrounded by a strip mall and a Target center. Somehow, when one walks through the doors of the farmhouse and into the back yard, all the hustle and bustle of the outside world melts away and we are surrounded now by a quiet farm yard.

There are so many things to see.

Flowers are at their peak everywhere. The trees are just beginning to change so this is a very colorful time of year.

Chickens are casually wandering here and there until a child starts to chase them (they seemed to be accustomed to that!) An escaped goat kid is searching fruitlessly for the way back into the pen with all his siblings and cousins.

It seems everywhere one looks there is beauty and the signs of the seasons. Where better to see those things than on a farm where life depends on what is growing, needs to be harvested, needs to be preserved or must be planted?

I really enjoyed being there, meeting and interacting with the other crafters, staff and visitors - all the while being made to feel welcome.


Zonnestraaltje said...

This is going to sound weird....but I swear to you...I DID NOT read your blog today before I posted on mine about my drive out to Oxford today!!!! (Go read it! To know what bit of irony I am talking about!)

The other thing I wanted to say was --- CRAP!!! I drove right past you!!!!!!! Like I said, I had a job out in Oxford today for some strange reason...and I came back and stopped at the Lane Bryant outfit there...even drove slowly by the Amish Farm on 30 real slow because of traffic and thought it was kind of crazy that the big new Target is there! I wish I had known you were there too!!!! How crazy is that?

I was driving right through Bart at 10:40 this morning. :(

Zonnestraaltje said...

Just to I was posting mine I was thinking, "Why didn't I whip out the camera and capture a clothesline?"

Zonnestraaltje said...

Lane Bryant Outlet not Outfit!!!

Anonymous said...

You have a very interesting blog here! I will sure be coming back every now and then. Amish are very interesting - how they can preserve their culture in such a fast changing world is admirable.