A highlight from my recent trip..visiting the farm in Pennsylvania.

Our world is changing so rapidly that travel has taken on new dimensions.      On my recent trip to the States, along with visiting family and good friends and seeing many familiar places, I was fascinated by some of the pronounced changes I found, even since I was there five years ago.

I first visited the States in 1966, shortly after leaving art school.   Originally I was to visit for two years, but two years turned into twenty-eight.    The United States is where I raised my children and started my career as an artist.    In 1994, I returned to the UK/Europe.   

This time around it felt as if I was seeing everything through a clearer and more focused lens and with that came great pleasure.    

One of the highlights of my trip was to visit my son Jarrod and his partner Kendle on their farm in Nottingham, Pennsylvania.

The horse farm in Nottingham Pennsylvania where I visited Jarrod and Kendle. 20180520_102119-1Nestled into the Pennsylvania countryside, with a River running by it,  the farm is beautiful.    Jarrod took me for a tour on the Gator.    It was such a happy day – and I was reminded of how much I love the countryside and of course all the animals………..

Along with being a superb cook Kendle trains horses for dressage.  On this day she had just finished a training session with her friend Sarah.      20180518_161057-1The three bordering farms are owned by Amish families and although I have been in that part of the world before, and once lived in a house built by the Amish, this was my first experience to observe first hand the ‘plain’  lifestyle chosen by this community of people.

Amish children playing behind their house across the road from Jarrod and Kendle’s farm20180521_112002-4The Amish children (who speak Pennsylvania Dutch until the age of six),  have never experienced TV, computers or mobile phones.     Within their tightly bound community it is believed that technology weakens the family structure.     It is also part of their belief that the conveniences the rest of us use, create inequality.20180523_153648_resized_kindlephoto-363889774     Kendle’s mother, (a fellow artist and friend I have known since 1974) walked with me to one of the neighbours to purchase some flowers.    A group of about seven Amish men were sitting on the porch in front of their house.       I introduced myself as Jarrod’s Mother….and from there we had a really interesting conversation.    I would have liked to talk with them for much longer.     It was one of their holidays, which is why the men were not working.     Children were playing happily and women were preparing food.   At that moment in time, the world seemed to be a very simple and beautiful place.

The Amish don’t use electricity or tractors…rather they farm the land in the old way.     20180524_161748_resized_kindlephoto-302450113Called the ‘Plain’ lifestyle – this is not an easy way of life, however, since 1989 the population has more than doubled in America and Canada from 100.000 to an estimated 251.000 today.      Researches estimate the population will double again to half a million within about 21 years.         This is down to large families and their settlements spreading  around the States…from New York, to Missouri, Wyoming, Montana and Oklahoma.     However, the strongest growth is on the east coast, with five new settlements in Maine all less than twelve years old.

A father and his two sons arriving in their horse and buggy for the holiday festivities. 20180521_112545-2-1Having escaped religious persecution in Germany about three hundred years ago the Amish accepted William Penn’s offer of religious freedom as part of Penn’s ‘Holy Experiment’ of religious tolerance.

Love and compassion towards others is their life’s theme.    Vengeance and revenge is to be left to God.       Living in this way was demonstrated to the full in 2006 when ten Amish girls aged six to thirteen were shot at the West Nickel Mines Amish School.    Immediately after this awful happening, the Amish not only looked after their own but immediately forgave the murderer, offering help and support to his family.    The press at that time couldn’t understand it………We could learn so much from others.

The Amish are very industrious.   Along with farming, they are involved with many cottage industries – furniture making, cattle auctions, selling plants, vegetables, baked goods, and of course the beautiful quilts made by the women.

An Amish quilt auction…..these are works of art. 2007-May-19-024Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the farm and look forward to returning for a longer period in 2020  when I can paint more and hopefully have more conversations with the Amish.

Jarrod and Kendle had a lovely party for me – with tons of good food and friends I have known for many years plus some new friends….it was a joy.

And then there were the animals ….oh how I love  being in a place with lots of animals:) This duck has known Jarrod since the moment it was born…it follows him everywhere. 20180521_154452There was Shiela the dog, several wonderful cats, ducks, chickens, horses, and so on…..again all of this means lots of work, but from my point of view – it’s more than worth while.

Kendle and Jarrod are now going to have an Air B’n B on the farm.

There is so much to do and see…and an excellent place for special interest groups, such as artists, writers, walkers, kayaking, etc.      More about this to come. 

Today, I finish with a watercolour chicken from the farm…..20180617_180846

 

 

And of course, some magical hummingbirds….watercolour/gouache20-11-15-1-71

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

 

 

45 thoughts on “A highlight from my recent trip..visiting the farm in Pennsylvania.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      HI Hilda…so sorry I missed you. As you can imagine it was a very busy trip..spent four days with the Comitta’s in West Chester, and then Jarrod picked me up for the farm. Next time, I will spend more time…you can see more about the trip on my ‘overview’ blog. Janet x

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      HI Katherine. It is such a beautiful place and l would also like to spend more time with the Amish. Given the state of the world today…their way of life looks quite appealing. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine. Janet xxx

      Reply
      1. janetweightreed10 Post author

        Good morning Katherine. The fires up north are truly horrible. With this sort of high heat and no rain, we become more and more susceptible to this sort of thing. The climate is most definitely changing and with that comes all sorts of issues. The smoke alone from such a fire is so hazardous.
        A parasol sounds perfect and lots of iced tea is really nice. I drink it with lemon and it really does re-fresh. Enjoy the day and weekend ahead. janet xxx

      2. Katherine

        Thank you,Janet.Yes,I just saw it is affecting people some miles away and only rain will finiish it off.I hope some politicians are taking note.Meanwhile it’s a bit cooler here but very pleasant.Have a good day,Kathryn xxx

  1. Writing to Freedom

    Thanks for sharing your tour and thoughts Janet. Growing up in VA, we often took day trips into PA and the Amish country. Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate the wisdom of their simple living. It looks like your son and partner live in a wonderful area.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you so much, Brad. Given the way is developing especially with the advent of technology, the way of life the Amish have chosen becomes more attractive. I like your term ‘the wisdom of their simple living’ Enjoy the weekend. Janet 🙂

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      It was most definitely one of the many highlights of the trip….I can’t wait to share more with you and to hear all your news when we see one another later in the year…x

      Reply
  2. E Kendle Buffington & Jarrod Reed

    We were thrilled to have you visit and equally look forward to your return visit. We are so excited to open Air BnB in a few weeks. I’m putting some finishing touches on some ideas I have. We look forward to sharing our peaceful farm with many visitors.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Kendle….it was a lovely and memorable visit, and I look forward a great deal to being back with you in 2020. How exciting that you are almost ready for Air B’B guests. I can’t wait to hear some of the stories that unfold. After the madness of cities and driving on highways, your place really is a little paradise. Sending you and Jarrod Hummingbird Hugs. x

      Reply
  3. ShimonZ

    That picture of the horse farm brings me a sense of peace. How good it is to find our children happy, and working at something they like. Jarrod and Kendle seem to have found a paradise. I like the way he hugs the duck. xxx

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Shimon. You are so right…it was wonderful to see Jarrod and Kendle happy on the farm…and as you say doing what they love. I forgot to mention in the post that Jarrod is a musician and so along with working on the farm he enjoys that element of his life and Kendle supports him in that as well. It was a delight to be with them and to enjoy such a lovely place. Jarrod showed me pictures of the duck hatching (it’s mother had disappeared) and so the duck thinks Jarrod is his mother….and follows him like a dog. It’s very sweet. I hope you enjoy a lovely weekend…I will be thinking about you and the beautiful Nechama….janet xxx

      Reply
  4. memadtwo

    Thoughtful post and lovely art as always. We can always learn from others. We just need to be willing to look and listen. And always a treat to visit with family! (K)

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you very much for your lovely comment. You are so right…all that’s necessary is to look, listen and keep and open heart. Enjoy the day and have a wonderful weekend. Janet 🙂 x

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you Margaret – I have always been fascinated by them and so it was lovely to be so close by and to actually meet some of them. Enjoy the weekend. Janet 🙂

      Reply
  5. Yellow Bird

    Lovely post. In southwestern Ontario we have Mennonite farms and communities, Anabaptists like the Amish but with some differences. We travel through Pennsylvania on our way from Canada to FLorida but have never spent time there. Do post a link to the airbnb when it goes live, perhaps we’ll meet Jarrod and Kendle one day – and the duck!

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you for this comment and I am quite sure that once Jarrod and Kendle are set up for Air B’nB they would be delighted to see you – as would the duck:) I will post their link as soon as I have it. Meanwhile enjoy your weekend. Janet

      Reply
  6. lovesdeepwaters

    Beautiful post! Being raised in Alabama the Amish never seemed all that different to me. I’ve always admired them minus the banishings..seems harsh but I do love the simplicity and love.

    Reply
  7. snowbird

    What a fascinating post! Love the story of the duck and Jarrod, how lucky they are to live in such a fantastic place. The Amish fascinate me! I would like to observe their culture close up, a wonderful way to live for sure.xxx

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning dear Dina…I think you would be fascinated by it all, and yes it is such a beautiful place and so wonderful for me to see Jarrod and Kendle so happy . Hope you are enjoying the sunshine and spending lots of time in your beautiful garden. xxxx

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning. Yes, to both….the farm is so beautiful and speaking with the Amish one of the highlights of my trip. The Amish are very good neighbours to Jarrod and Kendle…it’s lovely. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine and managing to keep cool. Janet 🙂

      Reply

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