30 responses to Amish Questions Answered – Part 2
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    Comment on Amish Questions part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 06:23)

    Amish Questions part 2

    THANKS, Erik on answering those questions! Very helpful and informative, as usual.
    Looking forward to more.

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    Lee Ann
    Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 09:00)

    Got some good answers there and very interesting post today. Look forward to the rest of the question and answers.

    Thanks Erik!

    Talk on the subject of home remedies, reminds me of all the old things my Mom tried to see if she could get me to hear again! Most of them make me laugh. Will try some of those, but those my Mom tried are just terrible things.

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    tiffany rangier
    Comment on eating (March 28th, 2012 at 09:30)


    its true englishers dont eat the best (i am polish)

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      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 09:50)

      There was a lot of attention recently over studies showing Amish, either due to genetics or work habits, have fewer instances of obesity. However I was just was reading of a 1990 study in which Ohio Amish women were found to have greater obesity rates beginning at age 25. One possible reason given was higher rates of pregnancy among Amish women.

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        Comment on Amish questions part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 10:48)

        Amish questions part 2

        Hi, Erik,
        Comment on your statement — Obesity in Amish women beginning at age 25 — possible reason given was higher rates of pregnancy among Amish women –(??) — Pregnancy would naturally cause periodic weight gain, yes, but maybe some of their “store” bought foods are adding to their obesity?? Or they are not as active as they once were, in past generations??

        IMHO — I do think there is ‘something’ in store-bought foods, etc. that might not have been there, years ago, that is contributing to this obesity epidemic in Englishers, etc.(plus in-activity!)….I might be wrong, but just a thought…..or there is more CHOICES out there, loaded with salt, carbs, preservatives, growth hormones, etc, and depending on how far your money stretches, one finds that they just “have to try that”, when something new goes on the shelf!! HA….I don’t shop like that, but many do. 🙂

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          Comment on Amish female weight gain (March 28th, 2012 at 14:02)

          Amish female weight gain

          Hi Sharon, before I tread into a minefield, I’ll just note those were not my interpretations, but of the woman who wrote the article 🙂 I would also think that an active schedule would get rid of pregnancy weight pretty quickly, but maybe 7 pregnancies means it adds up…and that’s as far as I’ll go before I get into trouble as this topic is not in my realm of expertise 🙂 Food-centered culture was given as another possible reason for the weight differential. You are right, quality of food might be a reason too…some Amish have poorer diets than we think, which can be tied to income.

          Amish men in the study apparently did not differ from their non-Amish peers.

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            Comment on Amish Questions, part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 19:57)

            Amish Questions, part 2

            No, Erik, I wouldn’t have opened the “mine field”! LOL — and I did realize that was someone else’s interpretations…..your points are well taken, and make sense. I have often thought, if I was Amish or cooked like they do, or ate at too many of their restaurants, too frequently, I would weigh 400 lbs……those good “country style” meals and baked goods, I could not resist! LOL

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    Comment on Home remedies (March 28th, 2012 at 13:37)

    Home remedies

    Hi Erik,
    Many home remedies have been validated by scientific research. The USDA has done a lot of research in this area. For example, a USDA scientist told me that the practice of rubbing a cut onion on a bee sting has proven to be effective. Onion juice, it turns out, has an enzyme in it that breaks down the protein that causes the pain in the bee sting.
    Some 25 percent of our pharmaceutical medicines have their origins in herbal medicines. Aspirin was originally found in tree bark. Mint, chamomile and licorice have proven applications. On the other hand, some home remedies can be harmful and are not recommended. Sheep dung, though it has a history of use as a home remedy, is not recommended for anything.
    The important thing to remember with home remedies is when to try them. If you have an occasional, short term minor discomfort such as an upset stomach, headache or other situation for which you would normally turn to an over-the-counter medication, then you are probably okay trying a home remedy.
    If you have a serious, chronic or long-term illness, or especially one that can be life-threatening, then it is always best to stick with a medical doctor’s advice.
    If anyone wants to research this subject further there are some authors I would recommend: Stephen Foster, James A. Duke, Ph.D. and Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D.

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      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 14:06)

      Hi Margie, I don’t doubt it. It seems like there would be a good book there for home remedy skeptics, those conventionally-minded folks that might benefit from using home remedies but need to have that stamp of science to back it up. “Science-Proven Home Cures” or something like that. It’s probably been written already, I bet.

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        Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 16:19)

        Erik, Stephen Foster has written “that” book. (He has a couple out now, actually.) The hard-core herbies (like that new word?) 😉 dont like Foster’s books at all. He is painfully honest when it comes to scientific testing. The bottom line is that very, very few herbs have actually been through the rigorous testing to prove that they are effective. And then each plant usually has a different percentage of the needed chemical, so one batch of garlics might be more potent than the next, and so you never know just how many (for example) garlic bulbs you would need to eat daily to get enough of the needed chemical in your body (Ikes! Garlics are made of chemicals!!). With that kind of scientific precision, Foster only listed about 20 herbs in one of his books (he is a botanist, by the way) that had been tested enough to recommend for certain health problems … And even then, it was sort of iffy.

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          Comment on Stephen Foster (March 28th, 2012 at 17:42)

          Stephen Foster

          That is precisely why I have always admired Stephen Foster and Drs. Tyler and Duke – they rely on science, not “magical thinking” when it comes to herbal remedies.
          The fact that a relatively small number of herbal remedies have been researched to the point of proving they are safe and effective has more to do with the lack of a profit motive than the likelihood that many home remedies have some benefit.
          All three authors are prolific on the subject. Dr. Tyler wrote “The Honest Herbal”, “The New Honest Herbal” and “Hoosier Home Remedies”. Dr. Duke wrote “The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs”. Dr. Jonathan Hartwell did an enormous amount of research into plant medicines used against cancer and identified more than 100, including many common culinary herbs, which show some kind of anti-cancer activity in laboratory tests. This does not prove that any of these herbs will cure or prevent cancer in humans, but the field deserves more research. It is too bad that profit is the primary driving force behind medical research.

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            tiffany rangier
            Comment on the herbs (March 31st, 2012 at 13:56)

            the herbs

            well the dental tinctures do help if you have cavities.

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          Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (April 2nd, 2012 at 06:20)

          Interesting stuff, is there an “Herbalists’ Retort” to Foster et al? It does seem like too much analysis might knock the shine off of some remedies, but–seriously–belief in a remedy’s validity may be just as important as any scientifically provable effects.

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            Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (April 2nd, 2012 at 11:56)

            The herbalist retort to the book is the negative ratings that you see on amazon.com for the book! 🙂
            That is the big question, does it work by science or psychosomatic suggestions? If it is only psychosomatic, then we could all wisen up and save some money from buying the expensive prepared herbal concoctions and go make us a tea out of the grass in our back yard and believe it will help … and it may just help! And you have just save $ by using grass in your back yard instead of “Grandma’s Top Secret Herbal Tea” for $5.99 a box.
            (I told you I am an athiest of sorts when it comes to herbal rememdies.) 🙂

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Pen pals (March 28th, 2012 at 13:43)

    Pen pals

    My “English” pen pal lives in Bedford, Ohio, not far from Amish country. I know she visits Amish shops, etc. I’ll inquire if she knows about getting Amish pen pals. (She & I have been writing for 46 years now!)

    Alice Mary

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    Al in Ky.
    Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (March 28th, 2012 at 19:12)

    Thanks for your answers to all of these questions, including
    mine about the New Order Amish. You’ve given us a lot of good
    information. I was especially interested in your description
    of the “Midways”. That puts a name on a trend that I had a hunch
    was happening among the Old Order Amish. Maybe because of the
    Midways is why there are not many (if any) Old Order districts
    becoming New Order today. I’m going to get out my copy of An
    Amish Paradox and read more about the Midways.

    I also was interested in your information about Amish and pets.
    It reminded me of the farming community (non-Amish) where I grew
    up. We and all of our neighbors had at least one dog and a few
    cats, but I don’t remember anybody ever letting their pets inside
    the house. We saw our dogs and cats as necessary parts of the
    total farm culture — the cats kept down the mice and rat
    population, the dogs helped chase hogs and herd sheep — as well
    as our pets. I would think many Amish would see them similarly.

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      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (April 2nd, 2012 at 06:14)

      Al, interesting…also, on the farm I don’t think cats get names that often while family dogs do. Cats are mouse-catchers and something to trip over, dogs are pets 🙂

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    Comment on Penpals and Beechy Amish (March 28th, 2012 at 22:00)

    Penpals and Beechy Amish

    I have long wanted an Amish penpal, especially since I live so close to the Lancaster, PA community. I so admire their lifestyle but do not know if I could give up the vices of English life – like TV, electricity, computer (!). Whenever I drive by the farms, there is such an atmosphere of peace. Of course, we do not see the undercurrents, but the general image is of peace. Can someone tell me what Beechy Amish is and is it more Mennonite than Amish? Thank you.

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      Comment on Amish Questions part 2 (March 29th, 2012 at 08:41)

      Amish Questions part 2

      I agree with you, Nancy Schaub…..I had the privilege of seeing Pennsylvania and the Amish countryside, learning about them, etc. back in Oct. 2010, experiencing the “peacefulness” of that area, and have been amazed at their lifestyle ever since….Like you, we have gotten used to modern conveniences, entertainment, etc….and most likely would find it challenging to change our habits…..but wouldn’t it be fun to ‘try’? LOL

      I find my “escape” these days, with reading Amish “part fiction/part real facts” books, that make me feel like I am “right there” with them…..it’s the next best thing to being one of them, or being there! (I live in Florida).

      I also wonder if everyone would sit back and take a look at their way of life and their closeness to God, if our world would be a better place? Who’s to say?

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      tiffany rangier
      Comment on to nancey schaab (March 31st, 2012 at 13:44)

      to nancey schaab

      you can write to me if you wish i dont beleave in tvs or really internet and avoiding electricity requires solar power and other methods.

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    Comment on third attempt for questions (March 28th, 2012 at 23:34)

    third attempt for questions

    Hi Erik,
    I’m not very good with computers–this note is the third attempt to ask questions:

    I am looking for a book that I bought about 16 years ago in the Gordinville Bookstore, just east of Lancaster. It was a paperback book called AMISH COMMUNITIES and described each community as “just farming,” “welcome to tourists,” “size” and so forth. I am sure there must be a more updated version.

    There is, I believe, a community-possibly located in Montour County on the Susquanhanna River-called Jersey Shore. I would like to know if they welcome tourists and sell quilts/handmade gift shops. It would be northwest of Washingtonville, the town that has the most fabulous auctions twice a year for the Beaver Run School. Does Washingtonville itself have quilts/books/amish shops? It is such a long ride from NJ new places to explore would be a treat.

    Thank you so much for all your information, comments, reading options. I would love to experience your travels! Meanwhile I enjoy very much reading about them. Marianne

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      tiffany rangier
      Comment on to marienne penn (March 31st, 2012 at 13:50)

      to marienne penn

      their is also a book of simple ways to sucess by eric wesner from 1978,but i will take note of this too.

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      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (April 2nd, 2012 at 06:05)

      Hi Marianne, I think the book you mean is the one by Ottie Garrett. I’ve paged through it before but I haven’t really examined it in much detail. I believe it came out in the mid-90s:


      Thanks for your nice comments. I don’t know this Montour Co. settlement but maybe someone here does.

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        Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (April 6th, 2012 at 07:13)

        Marianne, I have not been to Montour County, PA, but I have an Amish friend who lives there. Jersey Shore is about 80 miles from Montour County.

        Washingtonville, Turbotville, and Danville are in Montour County. Beaver Run School will have an auction on April 21, 2012, selling a couple hundred quilts. Washingtonville has an Amish book store and a bulk food store. Eight miles away, Turbotville has bulk food, bent-and-dent, and fabric stores.

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    Carolyn B
    Comment on Shom's Question (March 30th, 2012 at 00:29)

    Shom's Question

    I’m grateful to Shom for his question for it would have been mine as well.
    In those communities that have their own school buildings, wouldn’t it be more economically feasible to open the schoolhouse on Sundays for church & build somewhat smaller homes for the families? Just curious.
    Thanks, Erik & Shom.

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      Debbie Wang
      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (March 30th, 2012 at 13:16)

      Carolyn B.

      This is what my Old Order friend Rebecca told me. Church is not about the building but about the community of believers. To host church in one’s home is something special. In fact she told me she will be having “communion church” on Easter Sunday. They go all out with cleaning, gardening, even painting and don’t forget cooking! Actually their schoolhouses are too small to have church in when there are about 200 people in attendance. When the average Amish family still has about 10 children, they really need to build a big house. So this way seems the most practical for them.

      God bless!

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      Comment on Amish Questions Answered – Part 2 (April 2nd, 2012 at 06:11)

      I think that is a good answer by Debbie. The schoolhouse would have to be a good bit bigger if that were to be the case, to hold 150+ worshipers vs. 20-30 children (then you’ve got a lot of extra space in the school, maybe fit a gym in there? 🙂 ) Church at home serves other functions as well and it gives you a good reason to freshen up and really clean up the place. I could probably do with having Amish church at my home come to think of it 😉

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    Comment on Marianne (April 6th, 2012 at 01:16)


    Marianne, the book that Erik mentioned is probably the one that you seek. At first I thought it might have been a book that I bought in Strasburg at one of the tables that are set up at a festival. It lists all the communities of Lancaster County and tells something about each of them. Frankly, I brought it home and haven’t looked at it since.

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