Brrrr in Berne, Pie in Pinecraft

A few snowy shots shared by a reader visiting the Adams County, IN (Berne) Amish community.

Local old timers describe this as an “old time winter”, like in the 1960s and 70s. There have been shortages of coal, with one area business apparently running out, and another limiting purchases.
Weather like this may have some heading to Joe’s. Joe’s Lighting Products in Monroe carries batteries, Coleman kerosene lamps, heaters, heating stoves according to the sign. Inside you’ll also find oil lamps.
The clock tower in Berne.

Pinecraft Pie Contest

There were 29 pies entered in last Saturday’s Everence Financial-sponsored pie contest in Pinecraft. The Sarasota Herald Tribune has a writeup of the contest, and a photo gallery.  There were three categories:  one-crust, fruit, and cream pie.

The overall winner?  A strawberry key lime cream pie by Clara Miller.  You can view pies and footage of the event in this video by Ernest Bontrager. Which would you try?

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    1. Al in Ky

      I enjoyed seeing more of Pinecraft in live action. It was interesting to observe the clothes — not all plain by any means.

    2. City Slicker

      Another great post!
      Here in NYC we’ve been having our share of bitter cold and snow, so after viewing the excellent Indiana winter photos we were rather looking forward to the Pinecraft video — only to be disappointed at seeing people in the Sunshine State wearing heavy coats, shawls, and scarves.
      Man proposes, God disposes …

      By the way, Erik, your home Tarheel State is also having some miserable winter weather.

      1. Miserable, or marvelous?

        It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Snow is valued in NC more than in NY, I am sure, at least as a novelty. I remember the joy a few flakes falling would bring as a kid. And if patches of white started to develop, all the better. We knew it would only take a scant inch or so to at least get a 2-hour delay if not a free day from school. Tar Heels don’t really do snow driving (though today the local population is probably a significantly higher % from cold places than when I was a boy).

        1. Marvelous!

          I agree, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. We’re having our fair share of brutally cold, blustery days here in Manitoba. I love it! This is winter, so we may as well have cold and snow.

          Enjoyed seeing all those delicious looking pies! I don’t think I could pick just one, they all looked yummy!

    3. Anne, the mom!

      please pray

      For those of you who might join us in praying….

      The weather in Fertile, MN, where our little Amish family lives has been the worst anyone can remember. They are rarely above 0, the wind is constantly blowing (making wind chill temps deadly). In the last months, there have been many days that the weather advisory has warned, “Do not leave home today; travel will be impossible.”

      Our immediate concern is the safe arrival of their 2nd baby, due sometime in February. Their first baby was 3 weeks early, and if this one comes at a bad time, I honestly do not know what they will do. Ed has to hitch up horse and buggy, drive to the nearest phone (can be two miles), call the midwife, and hope she can actually get there, as she lives 30 miles away. They live on the edge of the Amish community; only one Amish family nearby, and they are far enough away to not be reachable either, in bad weather.

      There are VERY often “whiteout” conditions, and getting out in those circumstances is life threatening. I worry that Ed may be delivering this baby himself…

      So grateful for your prayers!

      1. Adair

        Oh my goodness, Anne. How far away are you all?

      2. That on the other hand sounds brutal Anne. Will be keeping them in mind.

      3. Naomi Wilson

        Praying for those in Fertile and fixated on pie

        Anne, those in Fertile have already been in our thoughts and prayers, and will be even more so now, knowing that there is a baby on the way. We’re no Fertile, MN, but we heat our poorly insulated house in VA with one wood stove, and this winter we’re lucky when the kitchen gets above the mid forties in these single digit wind chills! We are expecting baby # 3 any day. I have been worrying about having a baby in a house where I can see my breath! It looks like we’re headed for a break in the cold temps later this week, though. We will pray for Ed’s safety, passable roads for the midwife, and safety and comfort for momma and new baby.

        In contrast, warm, sunny weather and strawberry, key lime pie sounds like heaven on earth right now!

        1. Anne, the mom!

          Sounds like we need to pray for you too Naomi! And Adair, we also live in Virginia; too far away to be of any help to our little family.

          I think they are able to stay warm as their house is well insulated and they have an oversized wood stove. But if labor begins and the weather is typical of what they’ve had this winter, I don’t know how they’ll manage. Thanks for your prayers everyone. And Naomi, let us know how it goes for you.

      4. Al in Ky

        I will certainly remember Ed and family in my prayers. My parents lived many years near Bemidji, about 40 miles east of Fertile, and I know how cold it can get up there.

      5. Erin

        I’ve been thinking about your son and his family as Ruth’s due date nears. I live in Central MN and it has been brutal. We have a little relief today with temps climbing to nearly 20. Unfortunately, another cold front is on it’s way. I just received a letter from the Amish CSA that we participate in and he wrote that they have been staying indoors as much as possible but there are chores that must be completed outside. He did mention looking through seed catalogs and plotting his garden to help him get through winter.

        I wish your family the very best. Might be a silly question, but would his community be opposed to having a prepaid cell phone during these last few weeks of pregnancy or even a pager so they can contact their midwife? I hope their midwife is on high alert and has a four wheel drive vehicle! Keep us posted.

        1. Anne

          Hi Erin,
          You are so sweet to write.
          I know you understand about this abysmal winter for folks up that way. Hope you and yours are safe and warm. As far as a phone, they really won’t use one. However, we just sent one that a friend told us about; it’s what the Red Cross uses for emergencies. You charge it by attaching it to a device and then cranking it up! By hand of course. I do not know if they can even use that. But I suggested to Ed that he consider asking the Amish community there if we could gift it to them, to be used by whatever family is about to have a baby, OR whoever has a possible urgent medical need. I don’t know if he will think it appropriate. One thing that frustrates me about their views, is this belief that “whatever happens is God’s will.” While I agree with that overall thought, I also think it doesn’t represent the full council of God; there is more to it than that. Anyway, we hope and pray that he will at least be able to use this phone if needed, and that the midwife will be able to get there too. Thanks SO MUCH for your prayers everyone!

          1. Adair

            There are radios that power on by cranking. We have a radio/flashlight combo like that for use during hurricanes. You crank it up with a handle for about 5-10 minutes and you get 20-30 minutes use. When it starts to run down, you just crank it up some more. It’s hand-held size. I don’t think ours has a “call” feature,just radio reception, but I bet some do. How are you all communicating? Are they delivering mail up there now? I, Gulf south semi-tropical girl that I am, can NOT imagine what it must be like.

            1. Anne

              Adair, The phone we got was from Radio Shack. My husband cranked it for a few minutes and then tried it and it worked. So I hope they’ll be able to use it. I think they get mail most days, but when travel is “impossible” I’m sure they don’t! And that’s the only way we have of communicating with them, which makes it very hard.

              1. Adair

                Anne, best of luck to them, and to you! Please let us know when the baby gets here.

                1. Anne

                  Will let you all know when baby arrives, so grateful for all of you! Thanks for making this possible Erik!

    4. Bob Charles

      Yeah been colder than I like in NY but not unusual from what I remember growing up. One day I’ll go where it’s warm year round. My sister in Ft Lauderdale says sometimes it’s so cold she has to wear a sweater so I’m not surprised about Pinecraft. When it’s not weather I like I try to remember ” This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”

      1. OldKat

        An actual winter

        We are seeing the same thing here in South Central Texas. The weather has been “unusually cold” according to some sources, but really it is only returning (if briefly) to the norm. The temps we have been seeing; mid teens to low 20’s for lows and sometimes mid 30’s to low 40’s for highs, are pretty much what I remember from growing up near here in the late 50’s & on through into the 60’s, 70’s and even the early to mid 80’s.

        We typically would see these temps every 7 to 8 days, warming in between to high temps in the mid 60’s to low 70’s. This year we are seeing a reinforcing cold front every 3 or 4 days and that is different, but he actual temps not so much. We just got too used to the warmer winter time temps these past 15 to 20 years.

        Was sick with the flu for the past two weeks, so got to check out plenty of stuff on the internet while plopped down on the couch. One day last week there was a video up on Weather.Com titled “Are we heading into a new mini-ice age?”

        It was only up for one day and I didn’t get a chance to watch it. REALLY? ONE YEAR of slightly colder than the historical “average” temps for most of the country and some are wondering if it is a new mini ice age? Sometimes I have a hard time taking those kind of statements seriously.

        Has caused a severe local shortage of hay supplies and I understand that you all but can’t buy seasoned firewood in our area, but all in all minor issues compared to what Ed & his family are facing in Fertile, MN. Certainly will keep them in my prayers as well …

    5. Debbie H

      Yes, it gets cold in Florida. But, It doesn’t last long. Yesterday was in the low 70s, today mid 70s tomorrow 49 as the high and by Friday back to 70s. As we say in Florida, if you don’t like the weather today, wait a day or two and it will change.

    6. Laura

      I’ll remember Ed and family in my prayers, too. My husband grew up north of Fertile (a tiny town called Plummer, near Thief River Falls), and his brother still lives there, so we hear regularly about how terrible the weather has been this winter. I’ll pray for the midwife, too, that she arrives safely!

      And you, Naomi, if you need a warm wool blanket or a wool bunting to snuggle your new little one in, please let me know. I’m in VA, too, and I have a couple of things I’d knitted for my daughter’s coworkers, but I’d much rather see them go to someone who truly needs them. Erik, you can give her my email address if she asks for it, okay?

    7. Marijane grassie

      Pine craft pie contest

      If the Amish do not like their pictures taken, then why would their belief not be considered and people take their picture and then put them out to the public

      1. I see similar statements everywhere, but it’s just more complex than “Amish do not like their pictures taken”. Some don’t really care and know there will be photos in certain public events. Not that everyone wants a camera in their face, but the Amish people that go to and live in Pinecraft are probably among the more flexible in that regard.

    8. Marijane grassie

      Amish of pine craft Florida, pie contest

      Why were the Amish allowing their photo taken?

    9. OldKat

      BTW ...

      the pies look AMAZING. If they want to take this contest on the road, I certainly know a spot in Texas that I can recommend for them to set up shop!

    10. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      Brrr all over the place

      I wish that the snow that hit my section of Lake Ontario shore would just melt away. I’m sick of looking at slushy and brownish black snow, I am also tired of losing my footing when I walk from point A to point B, in fact I am nursing a rather cool looking bruise that looks the size of the Canadian one dollar coin on my knee. Don’t get me wrong, it affords us with some courtesy on the sidewalks, especially when I duck into a house or apartment block’s drive or walkway to allow a senior, mother with a buggy, fellow walking the dog or device wielding plugged into their ears ignoring the outside world idiot drudging through the barely shoveled walks.

      I went to a Laundromat the other day and the Attendant voiced her frustration with having to mop up the sand (substituting road salt) which enters her place of work, through foot traffic, that the municipality is using to “salt” sidewalks and roads.

      Brrr all over the place, poor Georgia tough.. Oh, by the way, how, this morning, is the communities in the above mentioned replies?