Monday, April 2, 2012

Just recently watched this beautiful documentary, one of the few new ones, about the Amish. A year of seasons, church, tragedy, and family issues in three states. It is so beautifully done, and the tone very even (some pro and very anti-Amish opinions) but worth every second of watching. These people intrigue the hell out of me.

You can see it here on PBS's website.

30 Comments:

Blogger Odie Langley said...

They do us too Jenna. Linda & I have vacationed in Lancaster, Pa. many times and each time we leave it hurts. We find such peace there and their farms are absolutely gorgeous.

April 2, 2012 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

I'm fascinated by the Amish as well. We have a few groups near where I live. It's always neat to see the horse and buggies.

April 2, 2012 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger ~~Melissa said...

I enjoy recommendations like this. Thanks! Another good one is Living With The Amish. I found it online. It's a BBC series following some non-Amish British youth as they go live some American Amish families. I needed a few hankies to get through it: some of the relationships formed were very moving indeed.

April 2, 2012 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'm going to try make time to watch that. I'm wondering if there's any mention of the Amish puppy mills.

April 3, 2012 at 2:47 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

I feel the same way about them. Thanks for the heads up!

April 3, 2012 at 5:59 AM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

Ah yes, I saw it when it came on. So interesting.

April 3, 2012 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

Ah yes, I saw it when it came on. So interesting.

April 3, 2012 at 7:22 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

A group of friends and I watched it as they facinate us also. I live surrounded by amish farms. I have an amish man that butchers my chickens, I shop at the amish bread shop and the bulk store and the highlight of my morning is getting to watch their. Little lambs hopping and playing around while they are supposed to be eating. I'm truely blessed to be able to live in such a diverse community

April 3, 2012 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

A group of friends and I watched it as they facinate us also. I live surrounded by amish farms. I have an amish man that butchers my chickens, I shop at the amish bread shop and the bulk store and the highlight of my morning is getting to watch their. Little lambs hopping and playing around while they are supposed to be eating. I'm truely blessed to be able to live in such a diverse community

April 3, 2012 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

I took a group of 6 young teens to Lancaster, PA in the summer of 2009. The original plan was to spend time on a farm but the farmer took ill so we had to become tourist. Still very educational. Through a church we partnered with we met a woman who has worked closely with the Amish and she was a wealth of info. Very helpful since you can't just walk up to an Amish person and ask them about their life. We stopped at a farm to buy homemade root beer. Those 10 minutes were the most educational of the whole week! The farmstand was run by two little boys no more than 10 or 11 years old. Their dad came out to restock items but then went on his way leaving the boys to handle the transactions of a couple of dozen or so "tourist". (Two car loads pulled in behind us when they saw our tour bus drive down the driveway.) One of our teens only had a $20 bill for an item less than $2. Without aid of a cash register the boy quickly gave change. It really impressed our teens! Quite the contrast to the Wendy's we stopped at on our way home to Massachusetts where the cash register not only told the teen cashier the amount of change due but also dispensed the coins. Despite the fact that we told our girls to dress modestly for the trip, we still had one girl who seemed to have only packed very short shorts and tube tops. The little sisters of the boys came out to the farmstand to see all the commotion of all these people and just stared at our girls. I was embarrassed! When someone asked one of the little girls about a product for sale they immediately looked to big brother to answer. Not sure if they didn't know the answer or were instructed not to talk to customers. The kitchen garden next to the farm house was extremely tidy and productive. They had small solar panels on the house for electricity. The kids got a kick out of the buggies full of Amish teens "joy riding" on a Sunday afternoon. Because the Amish can no longer make a living by just farming, many have gone into service industries. The Amish Farm and House Museum employs Amish to work there. Omar was our buggy driver through the farm. Unfortunately I thought he was just a costumed museum worker and was taking all sorts of photos of him before our ride. Then he informed us he was Amish. When I got the photos developed I was so embarrassed by my lack of understanding. The look on his face in all those photos really showed how uncomfortable he was with having his photo taking. He never looked directly at me. This trip was only a year or two after the schoolhouse shooting. Everyone we talked to (non-Amish) all still seemed to be grieving. I can't get over the Amish's response of forgiveness to such an horrific event. I would love to go back some day and some how spend time with a family.

April 3, 2012 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

Me too, Jenna. I have read extensively on the old order Amish and have observed how they handle horses. I have never seen anyone , including myself, handle horses in that manner. Must have been the way it was done 100-150 years ago. Their produce is the best. Better than my own. Not to brag, but mine is usually beautiful. Plan to watch this documentary.

April 3, 2012 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Pit Stop Farm said...

I too value the simplicity and hard work that the Amish are known for however, for me, their identity has become tarnished due to cruelty to animals. As mentioned, the Amish have difficulty surviving financially through farming alone, and have turned to other means of income. In some cases this means building wood furniture or sheds(of which I fully support and purchase), but for others it means the exploitation of dogs primarily. Lancaster County is known in other circles as the puppy mill capital of the US. Dogs spend their entire lives in small wire cages, forced to breed repeatedly, with absolutely no human comfort, no veterinary care, and very poor living conditions. The offspring typically supply the constant demand of pet stores. In addition to the dogs, many Amish are known to take poor care of their horses, as it is often times cheaper to work a horse to death than provide proper care throughout it's lifetime. Unfortunately, Lancaster County does little to stop these cruelties although, the state of PA is finally stepping in with somewhat more oversight including more inspections and hopefully, more than a slap on the wrist as punishment. Please do not take this as me being prejudice against all Amish, I feel the same way about anyone who believes in such cruel practices. I realize it's always the minority of a group who creates the bad reputation though.

April 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

I was in Lancaster, PA back in January and I really enjoyed my time there. The Amish were very friendly, warm, and helpful. But then, I think they took me for a local Mennonite, so that might have helped matters... I found their sense of humor delightful, and they were very frank and open. It was a good time there, and I often dream of living near Amish country so I could legally drive a horse and buggy to town. Can't do that here! :-/

April 3, 2012 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

As a native of northern Indiana and a resident of Lancaster, PA, I was happily surprised at how respectful and evenhanded a portrayal of the Amish in this documentary. I love living in Lancaster, especially being able to visit non-tourist family farms to get my eggs and visit the mules, as well as a flourishing downtown art and local food community.

April 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

As a native of northern Indiana and a resident of Lancaster, PA, I was happily surprised at how respectful and evenhanded a portrayal of the Amish in this documentary. I love living in Lancaster, especially being able to visit non-tourist family farms to get my eggs and visit the mules, as well as a flourishing downtown art and local food community.

April 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

A look inside an Amish farm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhjqBsOCiPs&feature=player_embedded

Amish make up the hotbed of puppy mills in the US, its truly disturbing. While not all of the Amish actively participate, many are well aware and do nothing. Supporting Lancaster, PA is supporting animal abuse.

April 3, 2012 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

It's a bit broad to say supporting a town is synonymous with animal abuse. That's like saying because I often go to Toronto I'm a die-hard Leafs fan.... Which is definitely NOT the case.

April 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

There are no puppy mills in the documentary.

But clearly, my support of puppy mills is why I posted this PBS documentary.

April 3, 2012 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger kathie said...

We have dear close friends who are Amish,and there are times our lives intrigue them too! Our times spent with them are always full of chat,lots of laughing and quick travel(in our car)for them. Katie always has a list of places to go and then asks if we mind,of course not, we have been to places with them we would never have known of. In some ways we are even alot alike.

April 3, 2012 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

Jenna you made me laugh outloud for real-awesome.

April 3, 2012 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

I really enjoyed watching this. Seems to me that the Amish less and less simple people. Not that there is anything wrong with that but whether they like it or not the are beginning to change. Sometimes I think some of us have a simpler life than a lot of Amish.

April 3, 2012 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Midwestern Mom said...

I watched it with my 14 year old daughter, it was a beautiful piece.

April 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I watched it online but did not find it very inspiring. I agreed with the perspective of the lady who was glad to leave because of the contstant boredom she faced and frustration of not being able to make her own decisions or even participate in them. I would feel the same i think. I do support their right to live as they wish but it wouldnt be for me~

April 3, 2012 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It wouldn't be for me either Suzanne, for a lot of reasons. But I am totally enthralled that this religion and society has made it this long while all the other Utopian societies didn't. It is an intriguing culture, with many aspects I admire.

April 3, 2012 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh this really excites me! We have a few Amish family's that have moved near us recently. Totally fascinating! Thanks for sharing this!

April 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh this really excites me! We have a few Amish family's that have moved near us recently. Totally fascinating! Thanks for sharing this!

April 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger NorthcountrygrlNY said...

This was a great documentary, better in my opinon than some of the National Geographic Specials depicting the Amish. I exchanged smiles and a nod with an Amish gentleman here in Upstate NY the other day in (of all places) Staples! I really love thier committment to community and dedication to thier faith and customs.

April 4, 2012 at 7:13 PM  
OpenID ruralaspirations said...

I love that you share these shows. Because of you I have found so many wonderful shows to watch. I don't have TV (just YouTube) so I don't hear about these shows otherwise. Thank you!!

April 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I watched this show and found it fascinating.

April 5, 2012 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

This was great! Thanks for posting it!

April 6, 2012 at 10:08 AM  

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