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Local Stories From Local People

Amish Weddings

During the first part of June, I happened to be driving past an Amish home on a dirt county road, on my way to visit Mahlon, my Amish friend who sometimes contributes to our blogs.

At this house, dozens of buggies were parked in a field, and in the distance near the home, a huge white tent stood with two or three other, smaller tents, surrounding it.

I had no idea what this setting was about, so I asked Mahlon about it. He explained that a wedding was taking place.

Curious about the Amish community’s traditions surrounding weddings, I asked him to explain. He obliged:

Weddings are a really, really big deal in our community,” he said. “Some last two or three days.” After a hearty breakfast, the festivities begin.

Typically, a ceremony lasts longer than an English wedding, with several congregational songs sung in German, and prayers, with the Bishop and elders of the church meeting, with covenants made by the groom, by the ...

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Eash Sales 37 Years Strong

Your excitement is growing as you turn from U.S. 20 onto State Road 5 North into Shipshewana. You are eager to begin a day of shopping at unique stores owned by Amish businessmen. One of the very first things you see is, at your right, a huge woven basket, standing over five feet tall. You …

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This Chain Hotel Has a Local Vibe

Franchise Super 8 Motels offer clean, inexpensive, comfortable rooms. They offer free Internet service, a “superstart” breakfast, and guest laundry facilities. The Super 8 Shipshewana offers these amenities plus more, all with a local “vibe.” In other words, this Super 8 reflects the local culture: friendly, down-to-earth, and hospitable. The hotel also has splashes of decor reflecting …

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Knowledge To Grow – Anthracnose and Shade Trees

One of the duties of a Master Gardener is to volunteer to answer questions that are received by the Extension office during the absence of the Extension Educator.  I took on that challenge recently and received quite a few questions to answer.  One of the questions involved an issue with a shade tree. According to …

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Knowledge to Grow – Determinate and Indeterminate Tomatoes

One of the most popularly grown vegetables is the tomato.  If you have ever eaten a sun ripened tomato straight from the garden you know why.  The store bought tomatoes just do not deliver the party in your mouth that the home grown tomatoes do.  So you decide you want to grow your own but …

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Big House, Little Woods – Big on Amish Surroundings

Each time I visit a bed and breakfast, I declare that one my favorite. So far, I have six favorites. Each one is as unique as the owners who invite their guests into the homes. Welcome to Big House in the Little Woods Bed & Breakfast Today makes my seventh favorite as I visited Big House …

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Strawberry Season in Quilt Country

I snagged this beauty of Pennsylvania-German influence at the Shipshewana Antique Show this last busy 48-hour weekend. My first ever, strawberry quilt in 40 years of quilt hunting! Who would have guessed a somewhat rare strawberry quilt to show up during strawberry season! I may have to keep this one! “You never know,” I say to myself, “who, …

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Hollyhock Diseases and Pests

The Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is truly an old fashioned garden plant I like to grow for their tall spikes with showy flowers. They are the quintessential cottage garden flower and are great for filling in large areas like the back of a flower bed, along a fence or a wall. Hollyhocks are biennial plants.  They …

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Knowledge To Grow – DIY Rain Barrel

Using rain barrels to collect and conserve water creates an alternative supply that will not tax the groundwater supply or hike up your water bill.  For each inch of rain that falls on 500 square feet of roof, you can collect 300 gallons of water.  It has become a rather popular do-it-yourself project for gardeners.  …

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