Inside An Amish “Baby Farm” Home (26 Photos)

I hadn’t heard the term “baby farm” before coming across it in this listing, and I’m not sure if the Amish would use it themselves (I doubt it). But that’s how this home, one of the seven Hillsboro, KY Amish homes for sale, is described.

It looks like “baby farm” might just refer to its size – on a 21-acre parcel of land, it’s not typical dairy farm size, but it’s a lot more than a few country acres.

The property has a barn and a woodworking shop.

This one strikes me as the most scenic of the seven.

 

By the way, we do have a partial answer to the mystery of why all these homes are being sold.

It turns out the owners are not starting a new settlement together, but likely moving to one of several communities, in Ohio, Kentucky, or New York. That’s according to the Amish correspondence publication The Diary.

Inside, the kitchen.  Looks inviting.

Pantry.

The bedrooms. You can see a couple of them are just semi-finished. This place has six bedrooms in total.

Down in the basement. Lot of jars ready to be re-filled.

I’m not sure if this counts as one of the six bedrooms.

What is that stove in the center for?

Looks like they might sell some products down here too. See the array of what looks like small dark bottles on the shelves. Maybe something medicinal.

Back upstairs, the living room.

Closer views of the lighting and stove.

This looks like a a room for sewing and related work. And some toys to keep little ones occupied.

You can see the edge of a sink in this photo. Like the others in this community, no bathrooms in this home from the plainer side of Amish society.

View from the lane.

 

This place is listed for $175,000. It has a pending offer, so looks like it might be off the market soon.

I’m not surprised if it’s found interest from someone who doesn’t mind installing plumbing and electric. Looks like a really nice place to live.

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    18 Comments

    1. LURIE BATY

      Lovely

      Lovely, thank you for sharing.

    2. I must admit that the term “baby farm” had me a bit apprehensive at first. I was thinking along the lines of “puppy mill,” and just wasn’t sure where it was going. Glad to find out that it was just a ref to size of the farm and not what was raised there.

      I am also a bit intrigued at the “stove in the center” picture. I note that for a house without “indoor plumbing” (bathroom) it does have the plumbing of a water faucet and hose. I also notice on the far right the heater for hot water. (I take from the same of the hinged door that it is probably (?) a wood burner. The fact that the center stove has drawers is what has me puzzled. Clothes drier doesn’t feel right. Fruit/food drier? I am intrigued with this one.

      1. It is a funny description isn’t it. Oddly enough the term actually had a meaning more along those lines in a different time:

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_farming

        “Baby farming is the historical practice of accepting custody of an infant or child in exchange for payment in late-Victorian Era Britain and, less commonly, in Australia and the United States.”

        So, definitely not that kind of place.

        You made some interesting observations. There was a hose leading from somewhere in the basement of one of the others, IIRC. It might be that sort of setup is the norm here.

        1. I was not familiar with that history — thanks for sharing it.

      2. Meredith Lahmann

        Summer Kitchen

        I grew up in a small village in NY, and many of the old colonials built into hills like that farm had what were called summer kitchens in the basement or subgrade areas. It is cooler to can and bake in a kitchen that is below ground when a house has no air conditioning. Maybe that is the purpose of the stove??

        1. Meredith, I have seen Amish homes with summer kitchens in the basement or even on a porch — either of which would be cooler during the warmer months. But the stove, at least as I was seeing it, did not have accommodations for traditional pot and pans and the like. I’m inclined to think that it was for something besides a cook stove use.

      3. About the “stove in the middle”…. I found someone on an Amish forum (facebook) who said their parents have one of these. It’s a wood-fired baking oven. (With as much bread as an Amish family could go through, that makes sense to me.) They said that what I thought was drawers were instead fold-down doors for accessing the individual racks inside the oven. Works for me.

        1. Thanks for checking that out Don. Bread sounds good to me. I wonder if these ever get used for pizza as well. Wood-fired Amish pizza has a nice ring to it.

          1. Erik, several in the forum did comment about such an appliance being used for pizza — as to whether they were speaking from experience or just guessing (and there was obviously a lot of guessing going on in the various responses), I couldn’t begin to say.

            I don’t know that I have ever had wood-fired pizza. In recent weeks I’ve taken up a new challenge of smoked cheese and really like it, and so could see wood-fired pizza being similarly enjoyable.

            1. Jerry

              Yes

              I’ve seen those ovens with stacked compartments for making pizzas at a few auctions. The Bellville auction for the clinic had a couple the last time I was there. In the Am they baked biscuits and mid morning switched to pizzas.

      4. Andrea Hughes

        Andrea

        Amish are notorious for running puppy mills. The keep their dogs in a dark barn and the dogs never see the ground or the light of day. They breed the poor dogs to death and they don’t get proper vet care or good nutritious food. If they took their dogs to a vet a vet would turn them in for abuse so they hide the dogs in a dark barn and then they don’t get proper vet care because it’s a big big dark secret what they do to these poor dogs. This is where all the cute puppy’s in the pet stores come from that people buy and they think they are getting quality raised puppies but they are not. It’s very very sad and heartbreaking. They are only in it for the money.

    3. Baby Farm

      Don
      I do agree with you. I also believe could be a food/fruit dryer. The bottom of that clear shelving in the corner looks like it might have a door in the bottom that might be partially opened for drying circulation. It is very interesting. I had not seen anything similar either. As always good to hear from you Don.

    4. Al in Ky

      I also had not ever heard of the term “Baby Farm”. In the rural community in southeastern Minnesota where I was raised in the 1950’s and 60’s, we would have called this place an “acreage” (pronounced ay-ker-age). I also remember once in awhile such a place referred to as a “farmette”. Acreages were usually places from about 10 to 40 acres in size, and the adult residents usually had their primary source of income away from the acreage. I wonder what such type of Amish residences are called in larger Amish communities where there seem to be many places such as this.

      1. Another reader emailed suggesting the farmette term. Whenever I’ve heard farmette among the Amish, it seems to be referring to a smaller place in the five or so acre range. Anyway probably not a strict definition. I haven’t heard that acreage term before, I like it.

    5. Geo

      Catchy title

      Baby farm at least gets attention. Obviously used as a diminutive meaning a small farm. In my limited experience in Kentucky, I recall 25 or so acre tobacco farms were not uncommon, being large enough for one man operations. The stove with lots of doors (and the long rickety pipe) is indeed a dedicated oven. Am I the only one noticed the pipe? I had a rickety chimney fall apart with the stove lit. (in a national park cabin). I had to jump out of bed and put the hot pipes together while the cabin filled with smoke. I lived to laugh about it but spaghetti stove pipes alarm me forever after.

      1. I did catch the connector pipe. That sounds kinda dangerous, I guess they weren’t too hot to handle at least or maybe it required gloves.

    6. Matthew M

      Baby Farm

      I’m glad you cleared up the meaning of that phrase, because the Amish do have large families and most live on farms.

      1. Geo

        Who can say; the Amish among themselves may well mean it the other way too but I only heard baby farm describing what we also called hobby farm or hobby ranch.