I just spent a week visiting friends from high school and college who live where I grew up in northern Ohio. I spent part of the week in Holmes County where the largest concentration of Amish in Ohio live – a population of about 30,000, or half of the 60,000 Amish living in Ohio. The rest of the week I spent in the greater Cleveland area.
From the ages of 4 to 6, my family lived in an Amish district in Eastern Ohio and I have fond memories of visiting their farms, playing and picking berries with Amish kids, and joining the families as they collected sap and made maple syrup in their sugar houses and gathered ears of field corn in the fields in late summer. Here I am at the age of 5 with my playmates.
I love return visits to Amish districts because the countryside is so scenic and well maintained. The farms are incredibly tidy and clean with manicured yards and gardens with flowers and veggies well tended and thriving without weeds. As I explored the rolling hills, valleys, and winding roads with my friend, Kathy, we did not see one item of litter during our entire stay of three days. The same was true of the towns we visited!
The farms have huge barns, silos, and large homes, often for extended families who help with the farm work.
Many of the homes had cluster of Martin bird houses.
Fields were planted with primarily corn and soybeans.
And we saw lots of laundry hung out to dry as well as lots of horse and buggies!
We visited Amish bakeries, cheese factories, farm stands and fabric stores where the Amish women get materials for their quilts.
Tourism has definitely come to the area and the towns were filled with shop after shop of trinkets, souvenirs, local rustic crafts, antiques, and junk, some of it made in China. Too bad…
A delightful aspect of our visit to the area was staying at the Inn on Honey Run, a hotel situated on a large, beautiful property surrounded by woodlands and fields with trails, sheep pastures, outdoor sculptures, and scenic views across a valley. This is the lodge where the restaurant serves gourmet cuisine.
Other accommodations are built into a hillside.
For more about the Inn at Honey Run, click here.
My visit to Cleveland follows in my next post.