Amish, at least the ones I run into, always seem to like sharing.

Besides the stick-to-your-ribs meals and cool drinks of water, I always seem to be getting takeaways from Amish friends–homemade wine, books,gourds, inspirational CDs for the car. Yesterday’s haul comes in the middle of canning season, following a bumper crop of tomatoes–a jar each of homemade ketchup and salsa.

‘Ervin’, my friend and new condiment supplier, remarked that they did pretty well this year in the tomato department–and would probably have a 2-year ketchup supply because of it–around 90 jars.  Yes, Ervin’s wife has been busy.

The salsa, which I’ve tried already, was less spicy on account of their kids not liking it that way, but delicious nonetheless. The ketchup, he explained,would be sweeter than what I’m used to.  When I stopped back today, Ervin added some sandwich spread to my take.  That’s the yellowish substance in the photo.

Why do the Amish can? ‘It really is cheaper’, explained Ervin. It also reflects a tradition of living off the land. Even with a thriving furniture business that takes up 50+ hours a week, Ervin (or at least his wife) maintains a connection with the life-giving earth. Plus it gives the kids something to stay busy with.

A final plus–home grown canned stuff usually tastes a heck of a lot better than Del Monte, doesn’t it?

That ought to be reason enough.

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