Posted by: Kath Usitalo | July 7, 2010

Amish Country Cruisin’

Horsedrawn wagons, buggies and equipment are a common sight in Amish country near Stanwood

I’m aware there’s an Amish population in Michigan, of course. I understand there are sizable communities near Centreville and the Indiana border, and mid-state near Clare, where there’s a huge quilt sale and flea market each May and September.

But I’d never gone searching for the roadside stands, porches and bakeries famous for jams, pies, produce, rugs and other goods. Until I stayed at the Outback Lodge and Sue Parker informed me that there are about a hundred families living in the area near Stanwood, in the mid-Mitten south of Big Rapids.

We took a drive and saw many men making hay, families weeding gardens, and at just about every house laundry hanging on lines to dry in the fresh air and sunshine. At one farm Sue caught up on local news with an Amish acquaintance weeding his garden.

We stopped at a few places for bread, jam, noodles, and cookies. At Rebecca’s I bought a basket. The handwoven rugs strung on display on the Yoder’s porch were beautiful, but I didn’t have enough cash on hand to call one my own.

At one produce stand Sue asked for radishes and, after consulting with her parents working in the garden the young girl went to the field and pulled a bunch—an armful of beautiful, long, white radishes—for her. Talk about farm fresh!

Tempting as it was, I was careful not to take any identifiable photos (the Amish will not have pictures taken of their faces).

Another reason to get off the main thoroughfares and explore Michigan’s countryside.

(Note that many places sell only on a few days a week—often only on Friday and Saturday—and there are no Sunday sales. Transactions are cash only.)

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Responses

  1. Sometimes I envy the Amish their more simple lifestyle….my sister and brother-in-law have a beautiful bed handmade by the Amish in the Clare area. Love your jams and jellies in the sunlight photo! They look like little jewels and probably taste like it, too!

    • The noodles were good and I gave the basket to my brother with some local ingredients and farm-to-table cookbook (he likes to cook) for his birthday.
      I haven’t yet tasted the jam…


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