Friday, February 20, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The most unlikely of Amish buggy colors, the striking lemon-topped vehicles of the Byler churches, mainly in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania’s Big Valley settlement, are hard to miss.
This is the rarest of carriage hues, with only five church districts in this affiliation as of 2012 (see The Amish, p 139).
The theory is that early tops were made from unbleached oilcloth–the same kind once used for raincoats–which had a pale yellow tone (Plain Buggies, p. 56).
To be sure, this is an unforgettable color, and in a culture that values plainness, a little surprising to see. But it’s a custom that’s been around a long time.
Monday, February 9, 2015
No electricity - does that mean no refrigeration for food? Absolutely not. Places like Lehman's sell refrigerators that run off propane. I once had one that ran off kerosene. There is also the old fashioned icebox.
The icebox is a cabinet for food. A block of ice is put in to chill the interior. At one time, icemen delivered blocks of ice to homes across America.
Amish in Wisconsin and other areas harvest ice each year. Groups that do not use electricity will have iceboxes to keep food fresh. The ice is cut and stored for use during the year.
- 25-30 tons of ice are needed to fill a 12 x 12 x 8 foot ice house
- The Amish use a circular saw on a sled, supplemented by a chain saw
- Workers wear “ice cleats” for traction
- Each load weighs about a ton-and-a-half and is hauled by at least two or three horses
- The ice they gather is worth $5000 to $6000
- The ice house may be a refrigerated truck body, but the preferred house is a two-foot-thick Styrofoam structure
- 30+ tons of ice is enough “for even a couple of families” and may last into a second year
Ice harvesting can be a fun, community event with women bringing hot drink and doughnuts and “friendly competition” of sliding ice cakes across the frozen surface.
|Amish Wagon Hauling Ice|
Sounds like a fun day if you don’t mind the subzero cold.