Saturday, May 30, 2009

Frugal Adventures: Mennonite Markets

We took the first of our weekend vacations. The Old Order Mennonite family that runs our CSA invited shareholders to visit the farm.

Our kids rode in a pony cart and picked berries. The neatly capped women served grass-fed beef burgers with fresh tomatoes, greens, and homemade buns.

I'm fascinated by this life, but I don't romanticize it. My family looks lazy and wasteful in comparison.

Above, Habegger Amish Market, Scottsville Kentucky

We stopped at a few markets on the way home, where we priced bulk flour, bought cheese, and sampled cookie ice cream sandwiches that didn't come out of a box.

If you are interested in simplicity or frugality, think about making a trip to the old-fashioned world.

Like me, you may come home with a renewed sense of purpose.

Previous trips to Mennonite bulk markets include Cane Creek Market, Lobelville, TN; Metter Farm Market, Metter, GA; and the Swiss Pantry in Belvedere, TN.


Rhonda Jean said...

Dear Meredith, what a lovely day with for you and your family. I'm sure seeing simplicity in action like that would be inspirational.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

I love this life too, and so appreciate their disciplined work ethic. I think how great it is for kids to understand farm life, but then I realize how much I struggle to keepmy house in order with all my conveniences, and often think of their days. Yep, lazy home here in comparison as well.

Jennifer said...

How do they feed grass to burgers?

Just kidding! I know what you meant. It looks like it was a beautiful day for a great outing. Thanks for sharing.

Love your blog.

Susan said...

Oops! My comment just got eaten up in cyberspace, so I'll try again!
Love the blue color on everyone. A very beautiful family, and a little baby who doesn't look so little anymore!
And what I tried to ask a few minutes ago was whether or not you know of any sites on the internet that have lists of places like the one you visited, but in other states. I live in Illinois, and I know there are several areas around here that are pretty heavily Amish and Mennonite, but I don't know if any of them offer any day trips like the one you visited. Any suggestions on how to find something like this on the internet?
Hope you have a lovely weekend, Meredith.

Anonymous said...

I used to live right in Old Order Amish territory in Ontario and was fortunate to make a strong friendship with the woman across the road. We had canning bee's and my family got to participate in a real barn building bee after their barn burned down.

But, you are so right... it is a hard, hard life with so much work. In reality the struggles are just the same but somehow seemed simpler without the extras. I still remember her husband and brothers coming over to watch hockey on the television, or how we'd cook our meals for the 'bees' at my house, lol!

Soon, Then said...

that sounds divine. I love my modern conveniences, but I do try to incorporate doing things myself at home where it brings me joy (cooking) and where it saves money or uses less of the earth's resources (biking, line-drying clothes, etc.)
This must've been so fun!

Tracey said...


More than Survival said...

I know what you mean... we live near an old order Mennonite community and have several Amish communities in our state. They work HARD! We always enjoy our time in their world! Glad you had such a great day... hearing about the food you at is making me hungry.

Meredith said...

Grass fed beef burgers...thanks for keeping me on my toes!

Meredith said...

Susan, I think most of these daytrips are strictly of the do-it-yourself variety. We would never have visited the farm were we not invited.

However, if Google fails you, start at your local farmer's market. You may be able to find out about bulk food stores, roadside produce stands, jam houses, and quilt shops that you could visit on your own.

Musings of a Housewife said...

LOVE it! We live close to a Amish and Mennonite communities, and I'm always convicted when I visit them.

Roxie700 said...

I have never been able to visit an Amish or Mennonite farm or market. I have read a couple of books on their life, and like you it is fascinating to me. I do know how hard the work is. I can just imagine not having electric power to run my air conditioner in Texas. Yikes. Not a good thought. I love my Amish cook books, and I hope to visit an Amish community when we go to Mississippi later this year. Thanks for sharing your vacation. Hope you are feeling a lot better. The kids look so very handsome in the pictures. Roxie

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

That sounds like a neat way to spend the day. I'm totally fascinated by that way of life, although admittedly, I really don't want to live it. I like my modern conveniences!

Your family looks so picturesque all in blue!

Michelle Smiles said...

I grew up near several Amish communities and I too am fascinated by their lifestyle (while having no desire to live it). I was friends with an Amish family for several years and worked with some Amish families when I was doing social work. I always enjoyed learning more about how they did things - they were always so generous in sharing their time and knowledge.

Tonya Gunn said...

We strive to live a plain life - although, we do own a small laptop that we run by recharging it in our car. We do live off grid without television, electricity, nor running water. We make as much as possible with our hands which helps us to keep our hearts and minds to God.
Thank you for your beautiful blog. We are hoping to visit an Amish community in Ohio someday soon.

Nancy said...

Sounds like a great day. One that I too would enjoy. My mother was raised in a Mennonite home. Her grandfather was a Mennonite minister and father of 21. I got a taste of this lifestyle first hand. I am so grateful for what my grandmother and mother taught me. Many times by example rather than me paying attention (you know how youngsters can be). I love reading Mennonite cookbooks; a lot of useful information in them.

I'd love to do a trip to a place such as you did. I'll be utilizing Google. Um, my home looks lazy too.

Victoria said...

What a neat place to visit! My parents have some property in Amish country in TN and we love to go to their houses to buy baked goods and fresh veggies when we are in the area.

Workin' MAMA! said...

I too am quite fascinated with this lifestyle - and the Omish -

I have friends who are Mennonites, but more 'contemporary' in origin; in that they have more of a simple living philosophy, but don't mind spending money toward entertainment for the children - No traditional clothing - just simple folk that make everything from scratch and are vegetarian -

I am so glad that you and the fam had a chance to go and visit the farm! I love reverting back in time - a place I long to be -
Gotta find one of those 'round here - If not - I'm southern bound in T minus 30 days!

Tubo Family said...

Thanks for sharing your trip and the inspiration. I know I would have to work much harder to live that lifestyle but I love the inspiration to simplify/refocus my current lifestyle.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

What a great weekend adventure. My husband and I are off for a small frugal camping vacation tomorrow. I actually live about 30 min from Metter, and did not know about the farm market there. I will have to go that way the next time I head to Statesboro or Savannah. Love the little smocked slippers. Jackie