Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Postcards From Ohio - Modern "Technology" at an Amish Bakery

Route 39 is in the dead center of the many Amish settlements in Ohio.  Driving through this area one sees lush, rolling farms, overflowing flower gardens, and colorful Amish clothing strung out on wash lines to dry.  A driver must be patient and cautious, as a horse and buggy may be ahead, and a horse pulling a wagon full of children may be behind.  Things just seem to go at a much slower pace, and that's not a bad thing.  Lots of serenity all around.

On this day we were taking a scenic drive out into the country, with the goal of stopping at Miller's Bakery, an Amish bakery.  We found the little shop, did some nosing around, and selected a few goodies for purchase.

However, what intrigued me more than all the bulk foods, canned chow chows, and homemade pies and cookies, were the various bits of "modern" technology and simple inventions I found throughout this small shop.

The Amish folks do not use power from the public electric grid, because they believe that too much reliance on public power ties them too closely to worldly things and worldly thinking.  They generate their power in various other ways.  Many Amish light and heat their homes and businesses with gas.  This little shop was using gas to light as needed.

Notice also the "sunlight" in the ceiling.
These Amish folks were also making use of solar power.  They had several Solatube daylighting systems installed in the shop's ceiling.  At a glance it looks like a light, but there is no electricity involved.  Here's a look at this form of lighting from the outside:

Many Amish just use ingenuity to create what they need.  Here is a doorbell, which was quite loud.  Nobody was gonna sneak into that shop without being detected, and in fact, if you weren't careful, you'd get knocked out by the contraption.

The bar that is fastened on the door slams into the hanging bell and scares the bejesus out of you.
Some Amish still use wind power for uses like pumping water out of a well.  We saw many windmills scattered throughout the area.

And a few surprises on the way back into town at this farm:

Is this a horse or a zebra?

A goat on the roof?  Why not!
I try to imagine what it must be like to be an Amish person and to do things and live the way they do.

One of these days I hope to interview an Amish woman and ask her the questions that are REALLY on my mind.  Will it ever happen?  Not on this trip....


  1. how very interesting and how very quaint...love the lights...

  2. Yet...they don't take into consideration the very modern and industrialized ways they ARE tied to our country. The gas they use is produced and delivered to their non-electric worlds in as modern ways as they could imagine. More power to them. Pun intended.

  3. And I wonder how they are inventing and creating these cell phones they carry around with them. rachel

  4. First I love the post. Thank you for sharing. I was searching for Amish ingenuity.

    Rachel, I know this is a bit late. You mentioned the use of cell phones by the Amish. It depends on the parish and type of Amish they are. The Pennsylvania Dutch, for example, can have a few technologically advanced devices. The Mennonites can even use cars and wear colorful clothing!