I’m back now from my multi-week Amish journey, spanning five states.

This trip took in everything from palm trees and short sleeves in Florida to a layer of snow on the ground yesterday morning in Pennsylvania.

After logging around 3000 road miles, I am ready to kick my feet up for a bit!

I planned to visit just 5, but ended up visiting 7 communities:

Pinecraft, FL
Ellenboro, NC
Burke’s Garden, VA
Halifax County, VA
Holmes County, OH
Lancaster County, PA
Glen Rock (York County), PA

I wanted to add Lodi, OH to this list, but the schedule wouldn’t allow it. We also did a drive-through of the Farmville, VA community, but didn’t stop in as it was late Sunday evening.

There will be quite a few posts from these visits I’m looking forward to sharing.

But first, I wanted to post a few photos from Lancaster County, and the stories behind them, since that is freshest in my mind.

First: it is wedding season, and that is why my visit to Glick’s Natural Foods didn’t happen on Tuesday (Tuesday and Thursday are typical wedding days in Lancaster County):

I last stopped in at Glick’s a year ago, and you can have a look inside this nice store here.

Aaron Zook was an Amish artist who became well-known for his three-dimensional painting. One of them hangs in the Young Center at Elizabethtown College. Here is a close-up of one section of the painting.

Have you ever seen a painting by Aaron Zook, or his twin brother Abner? The 3D detail is fascinating:

Apparently their work is also on display at the Shady Maple restaurant. The paintings have become valued by collectors. Here is a video of an auctioneer selling an Abner Zook painting for the final price of $5100.

The Campus Ridge Farm Market I visited this summer in Elizabethtown was also closed, but this seemed to be for seasonal reasons. Christmas cookies will be available in a week.

I also noticed a sign or two at other places in the community informing the public that orders were being taken for Christmas baking.

Demand will be high, as it was in Der Bake Oven in Berlin, Ohio where on Thanksgiving Eve the pies were going out the door before they had a chance to cool.

Luckily for me not every Amish place was closed. I picked up a few canned items at a little farm shop near Witmer, including sandwich spread and 7-day sweet pickles.

Laundry was out, as it was in many places. The shop is the small gray building:

Here is the mobile lamp which illuminates the place.

There are lots of little businesses-without-names like this one scattered throughout the community.

Sometimes they may be as modest as a self-pay roadside stand. This one looks to be off-duty:

A deer business. As we recently discussed, this has become a popular sideline or even main source of income for some Amish people.

Not an Amish building. Ephrata Cloister is a fascinating place to visit. An Amish friend who’d been before suggested we stop in.

We got there late but still got a nice tour from our guide, who did a great job with limited time.

This is the Saron building, where approximately three dozen celibate sisters lived:

An example of an early religious community which flourished, at least for a time, in William Penn’s “Holy Experiment”.

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