Dear Sarah

Dear Sarah: On Amish Farming

Dear Sarah,

I have a question about the Amish. Do all of them farm? It would seem there isn’t enough farmland for them all to farm. Thank you for your morning videos. I love having my coffee with you. I just seen your one today. I love when you talk about Scripture.

Jill P.

Amish Farming

Dear Jill,

I’m so glad that you enjoy my morning videos! I love doing them so it makes me extra happy that people love watching them. 🙂

Now, about the Amish and farmland. Not all Amish men (and women) want to be farmers. Some prefer to run dry good stores or make leather goods (such as harnesses for the horses). Others might make buggies or repair farm equipment. However, at the heart of every Amish community is the farmer.

Unfortunately, there is not enough farmland to go around. Or, rather, there is not enough affordable farmland to go around if there IS farmland available. In some of the more popular Amish communities, such as Lancaster, there are many non-Amish housing developments that encroach on what used to be farmland. One Amish farmer near my friends sold his farmland to a mining company for $1.8 million. The community was not very happy, but there was nothing illegal or immoral about what the farmer did.

Most farmers try to keep the land in the family. However, many of the younger Amish men are working among the Englische, whether in retail stores, construction sites, or landscaping. If an Amish farmer has several sons, the farm will usually pass down to one of the younger ones. That means the older sons need to find a way to support their families. Some work at markets in different states, getting up at four in the morning to leave in a hired van with other Amish people. They might get home at eleven o’clock at night! Fortunately, they don’t usually do this every day, just 2-3 days a week.

The problem with Amish youth working among the Englische is probably fairly obvious. If the Amish community wants to avoid worldliness and live plain, simple lives, it’s hard to do when Aaron Hostetler or Jacob Lapp are working with Grant Smith and Anthony de Silvia (i.e. Amish working with Englishers).

The Amish youths become exposed to the world through their colleagues which can lead to all sorts of problems.

What is happening more and more often now is the formation of new communities. A perfect example is Westcliffe, Colorado. It’s a relatively new community in a geographic area with few tourists and lots of inexpensive land. You’ll learn more about Westcliffe, Colorado in my upcoming book, Mount Hope (Realms, release date September 6, 2017).

Thanks for asking, Jill. I’ll send you a copy of Mount Hope. Just PM me your address. <3

Hugs and blessings,

Sarah P.


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3 thoughts on “Dear Sarah: On Amish Farming

  1. How do the Amish decide who their elderly parents will reside with when the time comes? Is there a special order for that process?

  2. This was very interesting. It sure cleared up the farminng question for me. What is a true way to look for quality Amish craftsmanship such as furniture? I come from a family who have made furniture not as a true business but more on the side of the wood, as Sawmill owners. What’s the best way to know for sure it is Amish made.. thank you in advance for your help and time!

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