What are the Amish doing in January?

Winter field with corn and straw waiting for gathering

The beginning of January 2010 finds the Amish harvesting ice for use through the summer. Actually, the last two weeks the Amish have been collecting ice as the weather was really cold and ponds were frozen over. The whole family gathers to sweep and shovel snow off the farm pond. The men and boys cut the ice in blocks and pull it out of the water with large ice tongs. It gets hauled on the wagon and then is put in ice houses near or in their houses. The ice is covered with wood shavings or straw and is used as their "refrigerator". The ice blocks last well into the fall, as there is no other refrigeration. No wonder ice cream is always a big treat!

Inquisitive Work Horse in a field covered in snowThe horses have their winter coats of heavy fur. They haul loads of manure from the barns to spread on the fields. Their wagons have metal or wood wheels - no rubber tires. The horse that is pictured is a "work horse" they have other smaller horses to lead their buggies and open wagons that they take to town.

Amish children walk to school every day. As you pass by an Amish school you often see sleds and other things used to play on during recess or to "ride on" to school.

The picture shows several children sliding down a barn hill that was close to the school.Amish women are busy sewing and quilting. All the Amish clothes are made by hand. Everything except the men's hats are made by hand and everyone wears blue and black, even babies. Many women sell their sewing projects at home in their own shops but if they live off the main road then they sell their things in others' shops. These shops have quilts in all sizes, quillows (a pillow with a quilt attached) and many other items.

A summary of this post has also been added to the "What to Expect" section of AmishTrail.com

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