As we enter the prime season for fresh produce, I thought this might be a good topic to address. I suspect most in the public would assume that Amish-grown food (and dairy) is organic, although that’s not really the case.
While there are certainly organic farmers among the Amish, and organic farming has grown in popularity over the past years and decades, the “default” or “traditional” way of agriculture for most Amish is conventional farming, i.e., with chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
In this video I explain three reasons why more Amish aren’t farming organically, as well as look at how some Amish organic farmers succeed. Runtime: 3:45.
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I also imagine that even with the 3-5 year process, there are still barriers. The Amish are not keen on government involvement. So being an organic farmer would probably consist of periodic visits, inspections and most importantly actions that may demand more modernity than they would like.
I believe you are correct!
I have Amish ancestry, but I moved several states away as a child in the late ’70’s. Prior to my move from northern Indiana: I witnessed Amish relatives having chicken houses having 3-4 laying chickens per tiny cage and I oftentimes helped my cousins collect those eggs. Some of the Amish in my home area back then were still trying to milk cows and store milk for collection the old fashioned way: hand milking cow utters into very clean buckets with the cow ankles being chained to protect said bucket from being kicked over, pouring the milk into big funnels with a flat paper filter in the bottom of it into cream cans, and a non-Amish guy in a truck coming around to heft up those cans into a refrigerated truck to deliver to a creamery. Some others of them (different church group) had automatic milkers including containers designed to hold all of the milk one cow might produce.
How does my account of ancient (to you) history relevant to todays Amish? Patterns! Their religion rejects modern trends as much as religiously possible; yet they must earn money to feed their families like everyone else.
I greatly admire my (now distant) Amish relatives, and I believe some of their choices to have been very wise over the years, but I would never accept their religion.
My inner chemist wants to know where the inorganic farming is. 😉
I guess the names we end up with don’t always make the most sense. Football, a game where feet rarely touch the ball 😀