Friday, November 14, 2014

Come Celebrate Thanksgiving in Amish Country

Come celebrate Thanksgiving in Amish Country this year. The Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast has group accommodations available Thursday-Sunday, November 27-30, 2014 at Apple Hill, located 1/2 mile west of Historic Downtown Millersburg and only 15 minutes away from many of Holmes County's Amish Country destinations, including cheese houses, museums, hiking, Amish farms, eateries, antiquing, and many more unique country businesses awaiting your discovery.

 The Apple Hill Accommodations (Cottage Suite, Gardener's Suite, and Blossom Suite)  include satellite TV, free wireless internet, well-equipped kitchens, spacious gathering areas, private entrances, washers and dryers, fine linens, offer complete privacy,  and many appointments that invite you to relax and enjoy this Thanksgiving Day weekend with your family and friends. Food service is not included with these suites, however cinnamon rolls, yogurt cups, coffee's, teas, bottled water, and microwave popcorn are provided. If you would like to book your Thanksgiving weekend with us click here to use our secure online reservation system or call our office at 330-674-7600.

Submitted by: Elizabeth Beam
November 14, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Amish Harvest Corn with Horses

Today, across the road from the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, the Amish neighbors harvested corn with a corn picker pulled by horses.  The corn picker was run by a diesel engine, which was quite loud.  Most Amish use a Wisconsin diesel motor for such applications.  Look back to my previous post where I posted an article about how the Amish harvest their corn.

Amish harvesting corn with corn picker and horses
 The young man harvested the corn in a matter of about 2 hours.  Another young man came with a tractor to pull the full wagon loads back to their barn.  It is interesting that this particular sect may use a tractor to pull a wagon of corn from place to place; however, may not use the tractor in the field for the actual harvesting of crops.

In last week's post, I mentioned how some Amish families remove ears of corn by hand from the stalk.  Here is a photo of an antique corn husking instrument used for that purpose.  These hand tools vary in design.  This has a piece of iron, brought to a point and was hand-fashioned with leather strapping.  I have seen a variety of different types of these tools.

Antique Corn Picking Tool
Plan a trip to Holmes County, Ohio, where life and it's activities are heartfelt, experiences are authentic, and products are handmade.

Experience a stay at the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, where resident innkeepers provide warm hospitality and share a morning briefing about the area.  We provide a lovely full country breakfast each morning, including Sunday mornings.

Recently an antique car club rented the entire barn for several days.  It was fun to have these marvelous old automobiles at our inn for a few days.

Antique car at the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 11, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How the Amish Harvet Field Corn

With our countryside dotted with corn shocks and families husking corn in the fields, many guests of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast are asking questions about how the Amish harvest field corn.  There are several ways that corn is harvested, and methods vary with differing sects of Amish.
Shocked Corn in Holmes County
Our amish neighbor said that he likes to husk three rows of corn around the edges of the field.  Hand husking three rows along the edge will allow space for his team of horses to pass pulling a binder without destroying good corn.  From then on he is binding the stalks with the ears of corn on the stalk.  The binder is an early 20th century implement that cuts and bundles the corn, producing a bundle about every 10 feet.  Next, the family or several men set the bundles, tee pee fashion, 12 - 15 bundles per shock.  They tightly tie a twine in the upper portion of the shock, thus keeping water from soaking into the shock.  The purpose for shocking is to dry the corn.

Sometime in February or March, they load the shocks onto a wagon, take it to the barn, and run it through equipment similar to a threshing machine.  This process separates the ears of corn from the stalk and shreds the stalk for bedding.  This bedding is called fodder.  Corn fodder is a preferred bedding for animals.

Another way corn is harvested, is as demonstrated by the stricter Amish, who husk it by hand in the fields.  They draw a team of horses and a wagon into the field.  Often a family of six or seven persons take one row per person, pull off the ears and throw them into the wagon. They have a special tool in one hand.  The tool has a leather strap and a piece of metal that enables them to easily strip the ear of corn. They typically allow the stalks to fall to the ground, then later crush it down with a piece of equipment so that it can easily be plowed under in the spring.
Amish man using corn binder
 A third way that some Amish harvest is to cut it with the same binder as described above.  They cut it while still green, then they load the bundles onto a wagon and take it in to the barn where they have equipment that shreds it and blows it into a silo for storage.  This silage is complete with both corn and stalks and provides food for the winter.

Yet another way they harvest is to allow the corn to totally ripen and dry in the field.  They come along with a corn picker (different from binder).  It strips the ear of corn off the stalk.  They pull a wagon behind the picker which collects the corn that the picker throws back.  The corn is taken in where, by hand, it is shoveled into an elevator that takes it into a corn crib.  The ears of corn are later shredded and combined with other grains for animals.

Rows of Corn
 There are those Amish who might hand husk six rows of corn in the field, then come along with a binder, bundle the stalks into bundles, and shock it without the ears of corn; shocking it as mentioned above.  Later, after it is dry, they take it to the barn and shred it for bedding.

The Amish neighbor told me that when the kernels are in full dent, no milk is left in the kernel. Another note is that the animals will eat the stalks if they are harvested green; however, they will not
eat them when they are dry.

Antique Cars at The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast
 While planning a trip to Amish Country, consider a stay at the Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast, a leading property in Holmes County, Ohio.  We are a licensed hotel, offering fine accommodations, personal touches, and amenities expected at a bed and breakfast.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
November 4, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Amish Heartland Tours Offering Christmas Cookie Tour Shuttle

With tickets for the Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns on sale today, visitors have the unique opportunity to book a shuttle with Amish Heartland Tours for the tour of inns. The price of the ticket for the shuttle includes the ticket for the tour, a 2-day event pass and a shuttle to all 12 inns. A light brunch on Sunday is also included, with local dishes such as Swedish meatballs, prosciutto wrapped in Mozzarella and Basil, and others. Guests of the Millersburg, Ohio, Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast are greatly encouraged to add this special event to their visit to Amish Country.

Beginning at 12:30pm on Saturday, December 13, the shuttle will leave from the Berlin Grande Hotel and visit six of the twelve inns on the tour, going to the remaining six on Sunday. Tickets for the shuttle are very limited, and are $135 per person. Those interested need to call LaVonne at Amish Heartland Tours: (330) 893-3248. Email or online reservations are not available. More information about the 2014 Christmas Cookie Tour is available here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns Brings Twelve Days of Christmas to Life

The 7th Annual Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns is arguably the Amish Country Lodging Council's most anticipated event of the year. Featuring twelve inns and bed and breakfasts from the area, this tour is an excellent opportunity to see the best of what Amish Country hospitality has to offer. Though not on tour this year, the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is still an active part of the Cookie Tour, with Loretta's one-of-a-kind quilt headlining the event.

The Amish Country Lodging Council created the Christmas Cookie tour of Inns as a fundraiser for local charities, and a way to showcase the unique styles of local innkeepers. Since 2008, the event has raised $75,000 for various organizations across Amish Country. This year, proceeds from the tickets (which go on sale November 1st) are LifeCare Hospice and the Holmes County Education Foundation. The Lodging Council hopes to raise $30,000 this year.

Loretta Coblentz and the rest of the Barn Inn staff have been deeply involved with the Cookie Tour since its inception, being part of the tour each year until 2014. Instead of being on tour, The Barn Inn is being featured through Loretta's hand-made, completely original quilt made of individual squares of each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. These quilt squares will serve as markers in the form of large banners outside each inn on the tour for the entire month of December. In addition, we are encouraging people to stay with us if they plan to take the Cooke Tour. If you reserve one of our rooms and make note that you are going on the Christmas Cookie Tour, you will be given a complimentary copy of our Festive Favorites cookbook, which includes many delightful cookie recipes for any occasion.

Tickets for the Christmas Cookie Tour go on sale November 1st. We highly encourage you to buy your tickets as soon as possible, as they will sell out quickly. The 2013 Cookie tour tickets sold out in only a week's time! Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to see the absolute best of what our innkeepers have to offer in Amish Country.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What Keeps the Amish Society and Religion Intact

Many guests to the Millersburg, Ohio Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast ask the question, "What keeps the Amish religion and society intact?"  The Amish are a distinct cultural and religious folk society with both social and psychological characteristics they hold in common.  It is a society that is based upon deliberate and willful choices by members to join in a union of agreement to a specific Ordnung.  Their society is maintained by harmony that is ennobled by folkways, mores, traditions, and religious beliefs.

Amish Barn Raising
The German word "gemeinschaft" aptly describes the Amish.  "Gemeinschaft" is an association of individuals who maintain common sentiments, tastes, and attitudes; a society characterized by a strong sense of community, identity, close personal relationships, and a strong commitment to tradition.

Early Amish Homestead in Holmes County Ohio
 Because there are so many facets to this society, it would be impossible, in one post, to give little more than an introduction to this subject.  The Amish are both a society and a religion.  All of the Amish, irregardless of their sect, are distinctive in maintaining a doctrine and practice of nonconformity to the world.  The primary scripture verse on which their religion is based is a verse from Romans 12:2  "...Be ye not conformed to the world...."  Reference is also made to the verse; II Thessalonians 2:15  "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."  My husband and I embrace these same scriptures, but define them differently than the Amish do.  We would describe the kingdom of God as a spiritual kingdom, fought in a different way.  Referencing the second verse, we believe the Apostle Paul was speaking about a tradition of faith, not how great grandpa harvested his crops.

Amish Farmer Holmes County Ohio

 Undoubtedly there are numerous reasons why the Amish are maintaining their numbers and see continued growth.  I will present some ideas here.

1)  Many are happy and content to stay Amish.  They enjoy their common bonds, fellowship, and see their church as the true church of Jesus Christ.

2)  They might feel like they are betraying their forefathers if they were to leave.  There is almost never an Amish church service where they do not mention their forefathers, those who, during the Reformation, gave their lives for the sake of Christ.  Always stressed is, "Honor thy mother and father."  Those contemplating leaving suffer many stern admonitions from those around them.

3)  The Bann und Meidung.  These words in English mean excommunication and shunning.  In English, the Amish do not use the word shun, but rather "Avoidance."  The meidung, or shunning is applied in different ways depending on the church, the community, and/or the family.  Some shunnings are dictated by the church, other shunnings (avoidances) are mandated by the family. The Bann (or Bonn as the Amish call it today) has, since the 1600's been the source of many divisions within the Amish and stricter Mennonites.  The bon is an effective way of dealing with the nonconforming member, thus removing him from social relationships and community status.  No longer does this person have influence on the church, thus aiding the church to remain socially isolated from the erring one.  Additionally, there is great influence by the majority.  It would be socially unacceptable for a member to defend the "Erring soul."

Examples of things an Amish person could get excommunicated for:

a) Attending a more liberal Amish or a Mennonite church.

b) Attending revival meetings or Bible studies and not making a confession for it.
c) Noncompliance to church rules, which could be almost anything.
d) If they commit an actual Biblical sin and refuse to repent.

My husband, who was raised Amish, says, that while he was never told this is so many words, he believed that if he ever left the Amish, he would be condemned to hell.

For more information and DVDs visit American Experience.

Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
October 19, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Holmes County named in Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves Worldwide

Although short, National Geographic’s article on the best places to see fall foliage worldwide included our very own Holmes County in the heart of Amish Country.  The Barn Inn Bed and Breakfast is a great place to stay if you’re looking to see the changing leaves, as it is conveniently located between Millersburg and Berlin. We at the Barn recommend the southeast corner of Holmes County for the most picturesque countryside, south of Berlin and Charm.
Autumn is often the busiest season in Amish Country; visitors from around the world come to experience and indulge in all that the Amish and their wares have to offer during the harvest. Locals and tourists alike have admired the beautiful array of colors that paint the rolling hills of Holmes County for generations, so the affirmation of its beauty by National Geographic is a welcome accolade. 
The excerpt in the list, which also includes locations in New Mexico and California, reads: “In the heart of central Ohio’s Amish Country, maple, oak, and the iconic state tree, the buckeye, hang over narrow roads that meander through wavy fields of corn. Drive under the boughs of bright reds and yellows, sharing the road with horse-drawn carriages of the Old Order Amish and stopping at roadside farm stands along the way.”

The Holmes County Chamber of Commerce has provided a link to the article on their website to highlight its importance. It can also be found here. Additional pictures of autumn in Amish Country can be found here.