Amish Ways

Do The Amish Use Air Conditioners?

Saturday, April 13th, 2013


By Tobin Dimmitt


 Do The Amish Communities Use Air Conditioners?Now that we’re getting further into the spring season, temperatures are rising throughout the country. For most of us, a basic central air conditioning unit is all it takes to ward off the heat and stay cool. It’s a luxury that families take for granted until it stops working and you’re forced to endure the blistering heat inside your home. Since the Amish avoid modern-day appliances and electricity (for the most part), you might be wondering whether or not they use air conditioners. Here we’ll take a closer look at their belief towards air conditioners and reveal how Amish communities keep cool during the hot spring and summer months.


White and Black Bonnets – What’s The Difference?

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

By Tobin Dimmitt

White and Black Bonnet – What’s The Difference?

The Amish way of life is quite fascinating. Amish people are known for their traditional living practices, simplicity, and utmost humility. They believe that they should flourish according to God’s will and the Holy Scriptures.

You can easily recognize an Amish person in your initial meeting, especially around Lancaster County. Their tradition and culture are engraved in their daily practices and in the way they dress. 

So, the next time you see someone wearing plain and solid-colored clothing, riding a horse and buggy, and have noticeable hats or bonnets, they are most likely part of the Amish groups. 

Today, you will learn the reasons why Amish wear certain types of clothing, keep things simple, and ensure that they have head coverings wherever they go.


Why Amish Men Don’t Shave Beards

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013


By Tobin Dimmitt


 Why Amish Men Don't Shave Beards - Amish Furniture FactoryIf you’ve seen any pictures or watched any documentaries on the Amish, you may have noticed how the men have long beards. In fact, nearly all of the adult men in Amish communities have these long beards that look like they’ve been growing for several years. Since it’s not frequently talked about or discussed, most “outsiders” are left in the dark as to why Amish men don’t shave their beards. If you are wondering the answer to this question, keep reading.



How to join the Amish

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013


The Amish certainly stands out among other communities in America mainly due to their highly traditional lifestyles. In the world of modern luxuries and technology (which we are enjoying today), the Amish remain as one of the very few people that are not only oblivious to it but outright reject it.

Instead, the Amish continue to live a centuries-old rural and straightforward lifestyle. The Amish focused on more important aspects of their culture such as a strong work ethic, sense of spiritualism, and a close-knit community.


 Steps To Joining The Amish - Amish Furniture Factory


Such a lifestyle has gained appeal among people outside the Amish community; this is not surprising since such a lifestyle has a rustic charm. With the modern world comes modern stresses and many people have started to see the Amish as a way to reconnect with a way of life long forgotten. To do so, some have even gone to not just learn but also try and join the Amish.        

































































What Language Do The Amish Speak?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013


By Tobin Dimmitt


What Language Do The Amish Speak?One of the most common misconceptions regarding the Amish culture is that they only speak English. While most Amish communities do in fact teach English, they actually learn another language first. Of course the English language is necessary for them to interact and perform business transactions with non-Amish individuals. Without it, they simply wouldn’t be able to communicate with outsiders. If you’re interested in learning more about what languages are taught and used by the Amish, keep reading.


How The Amish Make Money

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013


By Tobin Dimmitt


Amish business

There’s a certain shroud of mystery that clouds the Amish lifestyle, leaving us to speculate what their day-to-day lives are really like. While most people are aware of their strict religious beliefs that limit their use of modern-day technology, few people understand their work and job roles. Just like us, those living in Amish communities get up and go to work so they can earn money used to buy food and other goods. Just because they are Amish doesn’t make them exempt from this type of lifestyle. Here we’ll take a closer look at Amish business and reveal some of the most commonly performed jobs in the community.


Contrary to what some people may believe, Amish residents are still responsible for paying any and all taxes. This includes state, federal, property and sales tax. There’s currently no law that excludes them from paying taxes due to their religious beliefs or otherwise.


Comparing The Differences Between Mennonites and Amish

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

By Tobin Dimmitt

Photo from EnkiVillage in Pinterest

Amish people are a considered a mysterious group by many. Reclusive and secretive, they are known for the old-timey lifestyle, being able to build a barn in a single day, and making furniture. If they are sited, it is usually by taking an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage into town for a farmer’s market or similar event.

Mennonites, for those who are aware of them, are generally lumped in with Amish as the same. Many people automatically assume that Mennonites are Amish are the same. After all, they wear similar clothes and share similar beliefs, so common sense would tell you that they’re same. While they do have some common characteristics, there are notable differences between the two that can’t be ignored. Keep reading and we’ll take a closer look at some of the similarities and differences between the Mennonites and Amish.

Photo from WikiPedia

Amish culture dates back to the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. The evolved out of the Anabaptist movement, which was a practice of baptizing adults who had previously been baptized as infants, a practice that would later lead in part to the Baptist faith. After over a century of such persecution, a new leader arose in the Swiss sect of Anabaptists. His name was Jakob Ammann, and his followers became known as Amish. It was under his reform efforts of the Anabaptist movement in 1693 that the Amish and Mennonites would form their distinct faiths. 

Amish vs Mennonites – What’s The Difference?

Amman, in order to breathe new life into the Anabaptist movement, “proposed holding communion twice a year rather than once, as was the typical Swiss practice. He also suggested that Christians, in obedience to Christ, should wash one another’s feet in the communion service. To promote doctrinal purity and spiritual discipline, Ammann forbade the trimming of beards and the wearing of fashionable dress.”

Photo by Urban Joker

The differences between Amish and Mennonites are largely matters of doctrine and its expression within their communities, which is why it might be difficult for outsiders to tell the difference. As stated above, both the Amish and Mennonites share similar Christian beliefs that spawned during the Anabaptism movement of the 16th century. However, the main differences sparked once Ammann took over and became leader of the Amish. In short, he expressed the importance of focusing on God and religion and not the outside the world. Through his teachings, strict codes and guidelines for Amish communities were developed. Some of the rules limited or prohibited the use of technology, placed boundaries on what Amish residents could wear, and they allowed for shunning under certain circumstances.

The Mennonites, on the other hand, never adopted the strict beliefs and practices instilled by Jacob Ammann. While they still shared similar views on Christianity, they didn’t feel the need to withdrawal from society like their Amish counterpart. Instead, they continued to use cars, phones, television and all the commodities that come with modern-day living. The “dress code” associated with Mennonites can be somewhat confusing, as you oftentimes see them wearing both modern-day clothes and old-fashion attire like the Amish. It really depends on the specific community and what kind of rules they set forth for their residents.

The Amish, generally, are much more reclusive and insular than Mennonites. They are also much more likely to eschew modern technology, though allowances can be made depending on circumstances. How services, or rather, where services, are held, is also another major difference between the two sects. As noted here, “Most Mennonites meet for their church services in meeting houses. The Amish, however, retain the practice of meeting in their homes, shops or barns for their Sunday services. Most Amish still use the German or the common dialect of German, Pennsylvania Dutch, as the primary language of the church services. Most Mennonites use English, and some of their services use modern practices such as worship teams and audiovisual tools in their services.”

The system affects the size of both communities. Amish communities tend to adhere to a close-knit group of thirty homes. If the group gets larger, it branches out to form a new group. The Mennonites don’t normally have this system. Instead, they focus more on missionary work and outreach in a similar manner to Protestant missionaries. This is of course another major difference from the Amish, who tend to only venture beyond their villages for commercial reasons.

Thus, the main differences between the two groups are largely doctrinal and dependent on the allowances permitted in any given community. Amish as a rule eschew modern vehicles, while Mennonites do not. At the farmer’s market you might see an Amish merchant using a cell phone for easy transactions, and Mennonites are more likely to go out into the world on a regular basis to perform missionary work. There other, more nuanced differences of course, but the basis differences are what most people will notice. Oh, and the Amish don’t pay social security.

Photo from Mission to Amish People

Beyond the superficial, the main separation is one of doctrinal practices dating back hundreds of years, which, as it is considered a private matter, is probably why most people can’t tell the difference. As a final bit of trivia related to how Mennonites are more likely to strike out into the world than the Amish, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, was raised Mennonite due to his mother’s lineage.

Hopefully after reading this you’ll have a better understanding on some of the differences between the Amish and Mennonites. The truth is that they really share more similarities than differences, as they come from the same Anabaptist movement. With that said, the differences are quite apparent once you see pictures of how the two groups live.

How Do The Amish Heat Their Homes?

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Amish people don’t use electricity as they consider it a threat to their beliefs and values. This makes other people wonder how they keep their homes warm during the cold season. 

Amish rely on fireplaces, kerosene heaters, and wood-burning stoves to heat their homes. Others use coal furnaces to keep their place nice and warm.

If you are curious to know how they do it and how each method works, read on.

Amish Fireplaces

Amish Fireplaces

Fireplaces are not exclusive to the Amish, even it is one of the oldest and most widely used heaters ever since. You can see one anywhere across the globe.

For the Amish, it’s one of the most popular choices for heating homes, since most of them do woodwork. The wood scraps left after woodworking end up in their fireplaces. 

And for those who don’t, it’s not a big problem. Since it’s a basic need for each family, there are lots of shops that sell cheap firewood everywhere.

Aside from being an effective traditional space heater, Amish fireplaces have also become a way to bring families closer.

While an “English” family, as they call outsiders, gather in front of a television holding a remote control and having their family movie night, Amish families spend the evening around their fireplace while enjoying the warmth of each other’s company.

As long as it’s not below freezing outside, an Amish fireplace is usually more than enough to create a comfortable living environment for the family.

Kerosene Heater

A kerosene heater works like a large kerosene lamp. A wick from fiberglass and cotton integrates into a burner unit ascended above a tank filled with kerosene. The wick absorbs kerosene from the tank via the capillary effect.

A kerosene heater has been one of the most accessible heaters for the community since the beginning. However, it poses some safety hazards.

The list includes nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide poisoning, explosion risks caused by environmental factors or incorrect fuel, and even moisture problems inside the homes. As a result, many have switched to more conservative heaters.

Wood-Burning Stoves

More conservative Amish families use wood-burning stoves to heat their homes comfortably. In fact, it’s been a widely used method of heating homes since the 1800s. 

Many choose these stoves over a traditional fireplace and other space heaters because they have more heat output.

Wood Burning Stoves

Plus, they help save more firewood costs in the long run since they can better regulate heat compared to fireplaces. When building homes, they place the stove in the center of the house, providing each room with equal warmth.

Many also prefer wood-burning stoves because, aside from warming homes, they can also be used to prepare food.

Coal Furnace

Some Amish homes have coal furnaces built into them. Lumps of coal are thrown into a fire pit to power them. The coals stay fire-hot longer than wood, making them a practical space heater.

Adding coals to furnaces, however, has downsides. One of them is clearing ash from burned coals. As a solution, Amish people usually shake furnaces during the wee hours or before bedtime to avoid disturbing anyone.

Another downside is that it requires a constant supply of coal. It can become a money pit for some families. Hence, only a select few homes have these.

Amish Electric Fireplaces

If you search for Amish heaters online, you’ll see many websites with electric fireplaces for sale. They claim that these products can miraculously lower one’s heating bill.

However, these products caused much controversy more than a decade ago since “electric fireplace” and “the Amish” seem ironic.

The company’s representatives quickly changed how they presented their ad for their electric fireplace; they insisted that the Amish handcrafted the mantel while the electronic components of their electric fireplace came from China.

Today, they no longer include the community’s name in their marketing schemes for their Amish electric fireplace units.

The Amish and The Use of Electricity

Some things never change for the Amish community. While the rest of society embraces the conveniences of modern technology and electricity, they still consider it a temptation that would cause vanity, arrogance, and damage to their community.

They believe that dependence on electricity and access to power grids may connect them too closely to the public and harm their well-preserved culture.

The Amish and The Use of Electricity

Some use phones and devices that most people may consider modern today. Some have already adapted the usage of community telephones to contact doctors, veterinarians, first responders, and suppliers for businesses.

Amish’s use of such technology varies for each community. But whatever the order they belong to, they have one fundamental law: electricity and other modern tools must stay inside their shop and not inside their home.

Due to this, they’re sticking to non-electric space heaters they have adapted from older generations.


Like most families, the Amish need to heat their homes to keep everyone comfortable and warm during the cold season. Without electricity, the idea seems to be a bit challenging.

However, by using natural resources like wood, the Amish communities are able to keep their place at the right and safe temperature even during winter.

How Do The Amish Celebrate Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 16th, 2012


By Tobin Dimmitt


With Thanksgiving less than a month away, some of you may be wondering how the Amish plan to spend their turkey day. After all, we know that Amish holidays differ greatly from most of traditional society, so that would lead one to believe their Thanksgiving holiday is also different. The fact is, however, that most Amish affiliations still celebrate this family and food oriented day much in the same way we do. Of course there are some notable differences, but Thanksgiving in Amish communities is quite similar to modern cultures. If you’re interested in learning more about how the Amish celebrate their turkey day, keep reading.



How Anyone Can Experience The Amish Lifestyle

Monday, September 3rd, 2012


By Tobin Dimmitt


How would you like to experience the Amish lifestyle for a day?


How would you like to experience the Amish lifestyle for a day? No, you don’t have to actually convert to their religion and move to one of their communities. If you find yourself in Lancaster, Pennsylvania or another area where a large population of Amish live, you can visit some of their many tourist attractions to experience first-hand just what their life is like. To learn more about some of the many sights and attractions offered through Amish tourism, keep reading.