Inside an Amish Pantry

Amish Pantry

These photos of a pantry in an Amish home were taken in Carroll County, Tennessee. Reader Brenda shared these some time ago and I’m just now getting to them (thanks, Brenda).

Amish Canned Goods Tn

What time of year do you think these photos were taken?  For that matter, when do pantries look their thinnest?

Walk In Pantry

I’ve rarely done anything but deplete them, so I couldn’t pinpoint when exactly canned good stocks are lowest. Spring-early summer? Must be sometime between the end of winter and when first foods start coming in from the garden or orchard.

Canned Products Amish

What kind of foods do you see in these photos? Among all the canned goods, I spy at least one food that wasn’t grown in anyone’s garden 🙂

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    1. Emily

      Amish Pantry

      There is not a lot there, if you are talking a large Amish family. We tend to can around 100 quarts of canned tomatoes here each year and we are a family of 3. Not sure the time of year here (my initial guess was early summer). Really, so much of your food storage program at home depends on how your crops do. Looked like a time when they had lots of apple filling, but not so many tomato-based products (which would be canned roughly around the same time).

      I liked the shelving. We are on a quest for ever-better canning shelves here. 🙂

    2. Alice M Aber


      I am a little different than some on my canning as I can year round so it is hard for me to guess the time of year, but probably summer. I see meat, green beans, corn, apples, tomatoes, beets, soup stocks and broths, etc.

      I don’t raise a garden any more and do not live on a farm to raise animals for meat. So I buy things when they are on a good sale. I get a lot and can most of it. My pantry has fruits, vegetables, meats and soup stocks canned up, along with jams, jellies and juices. It never really gets low over all, because I am always adding something to it, but the items will change a bit with the seasons.

      Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing them!!

      Blessings, Alice

      1. Alice to can year round I guess that means you can fruits and veggies you buy fresh from the store? Maybe those in the warmest climates can have something to can fresh from the garden year-round.

        1. Alice M Aber


          Yes, as I said, I do not garden any more so everything is bought. I hit the produce auctions in Arthur, local farmers markets in season and will can meats, soups and such off season. Whenever there is a particularly good bargain on meats or any produce in the store I will buy extra and can it.

          I do have a huge pear tree in my yard that gave me an over abundance of fruit last year. I canned about 20 quarts of pears and gave even more away, LOL.

          I keep my canners, jars and equipment on the main floor of the house now instead of the basement because I am always canning something, LOL.

          Blessings, Alice

        2. glen wilson

          off subject



          GLEN WILSON

          1. Allen in Skokie

            More info

            I would like to attend. Can you send me a google earth or maps link to the community.


    3. Al in Ky

      Beautiful pictures and thanks to Brenda for sharing. Looks like a well-organized pantry. I think I see canned meat and broth on the bottom shelves. I don’t see any half gallon or gallon jars. A large Amish family I know asked me to try to find them some more gallon and half-gallon jars. I’m wondering if people realize how much work these pictures represent. I grew up on a farm where we canned a large part of the fruits and vegetables we used (froze a lot too). We grew them, picked them, cleaned them, prepared them for canning and then actually canned them. Hours of work! The Swartz. Amish I know can lots of meat, too. An interesting item -one family I know can lots of quarts of rhubarb juice (I’m sure it takes lots of sugar). They like it and can’t find it in any store so can their own.

    4. Adair

      Very inspirational – makes me want to clean up and organize my pantry and get out my canning equipment!

    5. Wish My Pantry Looked Like That!

      What a beautifully organized pantry! Mine is filled primarily with tomato products because I freeze most everything else. The rhubarb is in now, and I made my first batch of sauce this week. I like to freeze it, sliced and sugared, in quart bags, as that’s about enough for a pie or for sauce for the two of us. But it is somehow more satisfying to see all those jars neatly lined up in the pantry!

    6. Name That Amish Community

      Wow, wish my pantry was so organized, in fact we are going to build a new one this summer, and I tend to plan ahead and over-do-the-good-resolutions….but my mind tells me this is the type of look I want!

      I think it was in the fall/summer because it is fairly full yet. I like to keep fresh and not do too much ahead.

    7. Amish Pantry

      I sent the prior comment to the wrong title..sorry

    8. Debbie Halcomb

      I think this was in the Fall. I love the organized feel of this pantry and the lack of “canned” processed food. I did see to small jars of store bought food stuck in there though. I miss the fresh taste of canned fruits and vegetables in Fall and Winter. I would can now if I had friends and family to join in the process like Amish women do. I miss the satisfaction of preparing meals from harvest to table.

      1. I missed the store bought jars, but I did catch something (non-canned food) in the first photo that definitely came from a store…something I once liked finding in my school lunches 🙂

    9. Hmn.. hard to tell what season it is.. I’d say early spring… still have stuff on the shelf but not enough gone to show you’re waiting desperately for your next years bounty to show up.
      My canner wouldnt be stored away in the basement either.. it/they would be sitting on the stove waiting for the next job.

      Also, in this day & age, not all Amish are busy canning.. thats purely stereotypical to think so. One of the Amish ladies I know made a statement that she needed to can more.. that she rarely did.

      That surprised me since she & her husband have an extensive line of canned jelly’s and jams that are sold in this area.. I guess they get others to do it for them and sell them under their name.

      I do love looking at others pantries of canned goods.. they’re as beautiful to me as a garden full of flowers.. 🙂

    10. olga löfberg

      I came to your store in new york, new york USA in july 2015 to buy
      something, to ask some quastions

    11. Jean Junkin

      Spotted non canned item

      When our kids were younger, I canned a lot. Our shelves in the basement were full. But, now there is just the two of us, so we eat much differently. I did spot two things on the first set of shelves on the right halfway down that I don’t believe were canned. I admire them for being able to do this.

    12. Terry Berger

      Looks familiar

      This looks almost exactly like my basement canning shelves. I would have to say the time of year that my shelves look sparse is late spring through early summer when fruits and vegetables start coming in. Always enjoy the pictures and your blog Erik!! Thanks for all you do!!


      1. Thank you Terry, it must be great to have this kind of a resource in the home. With urbanization I’d guess fewer and fewer people, percentage-wise, will know what home canning is all about.

        Besides later enjoying the (possibly/probably?) healthier food, canning must be a satisfying activity–just seeing your stores expand with each session of canning.

    13. Carol

      I can understand why someone with a large family would seek the larger jars, but neither the pressure canner nor the hot water bath one would accommodate jars that tall. Not only that, but drop one of those large jars and you have an even greater mess to clean up! (plus maybe more sugar wasted )

    14. Alice M Aber


      Actually, my pressure canner will do two gallon sized jars. I don’t do anything in gallons any more because there is just two of us. I also have a water bath canner that will hold the gallon size as well. But yes, I agree, what a mess to clean up if dropped! LOL

    15. Alice Mary

      Beautiful, organized pantry, showing QUITE an investment in food, time, equipment, hard work. For those things, alone, I’m sure every bite is especially tasty! Wish I had more time to can…lately, it’s only been beets, as I like mine PLAIN and can only find the pickled kind in glass jars on store shelves (don’t like canned).

      So, Erik, did you mean Little Debbie snacks?

      Alice Mary

      1. That was it Alice, looks like Nutty Bars to me. Maybe there is also an Amish recipe version of those. But even if there were, sometimes store-bought anything tastes better than the homemade version 🙂

        1. Tom Geist

          I agree Erik, sometimes the store bought items outdo home made items. Consistency is what I like. Even if some store bought item is not going to be the best in the world I at least know what I am getting into.

          My storage pantry would not be like the shelf’s you see above… they would be deep freezes full of pizza, ice cream, frozen fruits and all sorts of items I can nuke in just a few minutes in order to be happy.

          Tom in Lincoln

          1. Consistency is half the appeal of fast food (I had Burger King for lunch today 🙂 ). Mine would probably look more like yours as well Tom though I’d probably be better off with something like in these photos 😉

    16. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      Alice Mary, and Erik,
      I love beets, nature’s candy my late father called them.
      As I’m sure I’ve said before, he rarely canned, but it isn’t my prominent memory growing up, it was probably more of a memory of his childhood than mine, his sisters and mother and grandmothers and aunts likely where canning on the farm, living in a city we never needed it, my loss.
      Home made anything IS so much better tasting than store bought, even cookies.

    17. James Beltz


      I remember growing up in Carroll Countu my grandma canned alot for winter time.

    18. Valerie

      Homerville Produce Auction

      I realize this is somewhat of a bunny trail but kind of fits here- someone last year was interested in the Homerville Ohio Amish Produce Auction (which has been moved a couple of miles to West Salem) and she and I were going to meet-

      One of those things you think you won’t forget but realize I HAVE forgot the name of the person who had emailed me to meet up at this!
      It is re-opened now for the season, although mostly plants/shrubs flowers, trees-but a little early crops are coming in and expect strawberries soon.

      This begs the question from me-is it cost effective to can if you don’t grow it yourself? I have seen an Amish pantry once before and just loved the organization of it.

    19. Ada/KJV Conservative

      I'm Going to Guess...

      I think I saw tomatoes, corn, beans or peas, and maybe some pineapple? I say pineapple because of the Dole crates. My guess on the time of the year: fall.

      Ada/KJV Conservative

    20. Jessie Cochran

      Wow, talk about dedication!

      I’m going to say that there are meats, green beans and/or peas, corn, apples, tomatoes, beets, soup stocks and broths, and pineapple in the Dole cardboard boxes on the floor. I love the organization of the pantry and all the colors of the canned goods. A box of Little Debbie Nutty Bars is on the shelves, as well. That’s a surprise to me as I didn’t think Amish would have store-bought treats like that. Cool that this family does, though! I also used to have those when I was younger.

      You’re blog is amazing! Unlike most people here, I think, I’m one of the only 20 year olds who reads it and am very interested in the Amish – specifically, alte Ordnung Amische. I’ve watched most of the Amish television shows and have watched some of the movies about them as well. The movies do them no justice.

      I recently (today) messaged you on your Amish America Facebook page. Please message or email me back as soon as possible. Danke schön!

      Jessie in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

      1. Ada/KJV Conservative

        You're Not Alone!

        Trust me, you are not the only young person here! There’s me and some kids here, too. Look on the “So You Want To Be Amish’ page, and you’ll find plenty of comments there from young folk, some 11 years old!
        And yes, this blog and the Amish are great!


        1. Jessie Cochran


          Makes me feel so much better in that I’m not alone!

          Wow, I can’t believe 11 year olds would be interested in the Amish. Great for them! 🙂

    21. Ada/KJV Conservative

      No problem

      I get where you’re coming from, and I admire that you are truthful about it! (I was not for, like literally, 7 years!)
      And yes, it is amazing!

    22. Tom Geist

      alte Ordnung Amische = Old Order Amish?

      One of the newer viewers to this site, Jessie C mentioned the term “alte Ordnung Amische.” I barely do English at times, so I am thrown here a bit. Is “alte Ordnung Amische” suppose to be “Old Order Amish.” I know I have the first and last word right… but the question is…
      when we say “Old Order Amish” does “Order” stand for “Ordnung?”

      Tom in Lincoln

      1. Ada/KJV Conservative

        Food for Thought...

        Well, I’m no expert on Deutch, etc. But since Plain people often put emphasis on the importance of traditions, I would think so. After all, isn’t the Ordnung (the set of rules a community would follow) supposed to help the People keep with the Old Way (the “Old Order”)? Food for thought!

      2. Jessie Cochran

        Tom und Ada

        Hallo und wie geht’s? (Hello and how are you?)

        Ich nahm Deutsch für zwei Jahre im Gymnasium, aber ich habe nicht es für einem Jahre gesagt. (I took German for two years in high school, but I have not spoken it for a year.)

        I looked up how to write Old Order Amish up on Google Translate (normally never use it except for small grammatical things like endings on pronouns and things), and on Babylon, and they both translated Old Order Amish to “alte Ordnung Amische,” literally “old Ordnung Amish.. Ordnung is the noun for “order.”

        Here are two great German websites: one is a dictionary and one is for grammar but also has dictionaries from other websites, as well.

        For the second website, type in the verb, adjective, noun, etc. into the box (in German) and click on the word when it pops up from the drop-down menu or hit ENTER. When the word in the designated usage (verb or noun) comes up, click the word WORTFORMEN to see how the word is conjugated for different pronouns. My old Deutschlehrer showed me both of these websites and I use them all the time! “Perfekt” und “Präteritum” are the two types of past tense Deutsch has. Don’t bother with them unless you want to get confused. “Sometimes the Germans just really want to confuse us English with all their different rules.” As Herr Mitchell (my old Deutschlehrer) would say. 🙂

        Schönen Tag noch und schönes Wochenende! (Lit. Have a nice day and nice weekend!)

        – Jess 🙂

        1. Ada/KJV Conservative

          Jess, CLARIFY PLEASE!!!!

          OK, Jess, could you clarify something that I’ve been a little confused back since about five of my own comments ago?
          My grandmother is German-born and I know several ladies. So, I’ve been asked “wie geht’s” before. I’ve looked it up on Google Translate, but she doesn’t have a good accent going.
          So is it pronounced
          1) “We gates”
          2) “Vee gates”
          3) “We ga-ess”
          4) “Ve ga-ess”

          or something entirely different?
          Thank you!

          1. Jessie Cochran


            I’m so happy you actually asked me to clarify something for you. Normally I think people would be wary about asking me, since I haven’t spoken Deutsch for a year, and only took two years of it. But thank you for asking.

            Wie geht’s is pronounced “Vee gehts”. In German, the “w” is pronounced like a “v”, when there’s a “ei” in a word, the “i” is pronounced, and when there’s an “ie”, the “e” is pronounced. “Gehts” is pronounced like the Englisch “gay” and then a “tst” after it. The “s” by itself is pronounced like a “z.” In turn, a “z” by itself is pronounced like “tst”, the sound a burst pipe makes, is what my former teacher told us to think of.

            Hope that helps!

            – Jessie C

            1. Ada


              Thank you! That is a great explanation and it helps. I didn’t know if the German women I referred to just had a Southern accent mixing with the German or if the Google Translate girl just didn’t have a German accent. It was the Google Translate! Ahaha
              And no, I don’t see that as a good reason to be wary! If I took German, I’d remember it (it’s a beautiful language, at least in my opinion!).

              Thank you,


              1. Jessie Cochran


                Ja, ich auch. Deutsch ist ein sehr schöne Sprache (when spoken correctly). Believe me, when you haven’t spoken or written or done anything with Deutsch for a year, you do loose quite a bit. I’ve since forgotten some of the most important grammar rules for placement of verbs depending on what words are before or after, and such.

                So glad I could help!

                — Jess C

    23. Harold Cheetham

      picture question

      i have a Face Book group called Living Amish. was wondering if I can copy the pics of the pantry and post on my group page.

    24. marta

      fruit & veg jar

      thanks for sharing this nice photos, I think they are bout october, at the beginning of winter.
      I see fruit and veg jars.
      I also cook every summer different kind of marmelade (cherry, apple, prune, …).
      thanks for all the comments and useful and interesting informations and website, that let us know more info about amish.
      ciao from italy

    25. Dragan


      Do the Amish people use the rabbit meat in the diet and do they grow rabbits for food?