Inside an Amish haybarn
Lancaster County has some amazing stone barns. Many of these barns are owned by Amish. One of my customers let me take a few shots of his.
I love the scents and sights and the whole feeling of being inside one of these old barns. The pungent hay strewn across the floor; mustiness countered by fresh breeze blowing in through open barn doors. The nooks and crannies, cobwebs and sturdy crossbeams.
Very cozy, even for a non-cow like myself.
You stop to wonder how many bales this barn has held in its existence, how many animals sheltered and fed thanks to this tenacious structure?
The farmer had no idea how old it was. Could it approach 200 years old? Some of them do. Some are even older.
You don’t really see stone barns like this in the Midwestern Amish settlements. Yet here they are everywhere.
My father tells me that when he was a boy the kids would sleep in the hay mow in the barn when they had a house full of overnight guests. He was one of eight children, and I suppose some of the visitors had lots of children, too. This was probably in the 1920s. They spoke German at home and at church, but were not Amish. They started switching to English when the oldest of the children started going to the public school.
It would have been a lot nicer with hay made the old way, before hay balers. It was much softer, with not so many scratchy ends where the hay is cut and bent by the baler.
I had no idea that hay is softer depending how you cut it. That makes sense though.