Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Seen on US 20 in Amish Territory

Came across this row of what looked like homestead farms. Each one had trees, a couple of horses, a barn, and a small garden. There was also kids in Amish garb running around in the yards. A couple that tried crossing the street were polite, and careful.

Heard later those "farms" were something along the lines of Amish Tract Mansions. The areas are big enough to house everything the Amish would use (horse, hay, storage for food and some ice for refridgeration well into the summer) but not really enough land to live off of. Supposedly those folks probably work nearby (at the RV building facility) and either ride horses or on a bus driven by a local "englishman" (American Amish term for "outsider") to and from work.

It did make for an intriguing look into another world. Human activity, absent from the vast majority of neighborhoods during this hot-hot-hot summer, was in full force for this block-long area. And it was intriguing looking into a version of the past. I asked my housemate whether this reminded her of her youth in Iowa. She stated that things were a bit more sparser than this, but familiar enough to her to relate. She then told me about some farming combinations that happened during her youth.

It also reminded me just how empty the farmlands of Iowa had become. It just seems strange to me, going miles and miles and finding single houses standing wherever they may be; outside of the towns (some of which are dying even as we drove by them) there's nothing preventing houses from being bulldozed to make another acre for farming.

No comments: