Country MoonI recently had an experience that proves there are always new adventures and new things to learn no matter your age.

Growing up and living in southwest Michigan all my life and visiting northern Indiana towns, I am accustomed to seeing Amish communities and experiencing their lifestyle. Elkhart, IN and the surrounding communities is home to the second largest Amish settlement in the United States, only exceeded by Holmes County in Ohio. Many folks, myself included, have always thought that Lancaster, PA held the largest concentration but they actually rank third.

Amish craftsmen made and installed our new kitchen, we regularly visit Shipshewana and stock up on supplies from local Amish bulk food stores. That being said, I was dumbfounded when Aunt Sharlene asked if I would like to go to an Amish Haystack Supper with her and my cousins. I had no idea what she was talking about.

It turns out that the Amish heartland, particularly the areas around Elkhart, Shipshewana and LaGrange in Indiana are home to the haystack suppers which are held as benefits to help certain individuals or groups in the Amish community. Known for looking out for each other, this tradition is a way the Amish helps those in need. They are held in private homes, barns or restaurants.

The one I attended was staged in a large barn in the country. Now, this wasn’t your typical barn with hay and straw, equipment and grease all around. On the contrary, it was a modern facility with a modern kitchen and bathrooms. Long tables had been set up where folks ate. A row of tables was strung in front of the kitchen area for serving.


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