Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Amish in Maine...

Amish in Maine...  I grew up in New Jersey, just an hour or so away from the extensive Amish and Mennonite communities in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.  A few years ago, after the 2007 Cedar fire ravaged San Diego's east county area, I ran into another group of Amish – volunteers rebuilding homes burned down in the fire.  I think of them as an admirable, if quirky, community.  I also remember fondly their traditional cheese, soup, and pies, which we always took advantage of when in their area :)

Now I read that some Amish are starting to settle in Maine.  When I was a kid (in the '50s), most Amish and Mennonites were in Pennsylvania, and there were less than 20,000 of them altogether.  Today they can be found all across the U.S. and Canada (though they are concentrated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana), and their population has grown steadily to almost 300,000 souls.  Their population growth rate is far above the U.S. average, so I expect to see that sort of growth continuing.

To anyone who knows anything at all about farming, one thing stands out above all else about these folks: they are absolutely the best, highest productivity farmers there are.  No industrial farmer can match their extensive knowledge and lore of the land, nor their land-preserving farm practices.  I've never seen people who work harder than them.  What they achieve routinely would be considered remarkable, even astounding by any other farmer. 

I'm glad to see all that paying off for them...

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