Ohio’s Amish population is known for shunning many modern conveniences, which may lead some people to think that they’re not very much in tune with “trends” like environmentalism — but they’d be wrong. The Amish are Faithful stewards of their land, and work together to make the most of their resources and their community, and nowhere is that more apparent than during a good, old-fashioned barn-raising!
The red-painted Amish barn is an icon of American architecture, but very few Americans, today, have ever seen a barn being built. The time-lapse photos were recorded by non-Amish man, Scott Miller, who secured permission to record the activity after pitching in to help on the 10-hour job. And, while all you see in the video are men, an Amish barn-raising is actually an all-hands-on-deck affair for the entire community. “We enjoy barn-raising,” an Amish farmer told writer Gene Logsdon in 1983. “So many come to work that no one has to work very hard. And we get in a good visit.”
Amish-style barn-raising is also fascinating for off-grid farmers and homesteaders like Eliza Waters, who wrote an article about barn-raising on her blog earlier this year. “For many years, we have been members of a horse-powered CSA farm here in our town, the only one that I know of in our area,” she writes. “Four beautiful Belgians (a large draft horse similar to a Clydesdale – Ed.) are the only means of power; used to plow, harrow, plant, cultivate and haul. Hay is cut, raked and gathered the old-fashioned way with horses doing the heavy work. In winter, they haul sledges of firewood from the woods to the farmhouse.”
You can read Eliza’s excellent article by clicking this link to her blog, and check out her excellent photo-gallery while you’re there. In the meantime, I’ve picked out a few favorites and included them, below. Enjoy!