They have chosen to forsake most modern conveniences for a more traditional way of life. Additionally the Amish have chosen a different manner with regards to medical care and sickness. We will examine what methodology they have chosen for healing and how they address this issue.
Our research will also show the social organization of the Amish people taking a look at how they interact with one another as well as the outside. Furthermore our research will show how the Amish lifestyle as horticulturists, although quite different, may not be quite as strange as we view it as outsiders. We will also show how it reflects an earlier time in traditional America and in many ways parallels our own history.
The Amish came to America from Europe beginning in the eighteenth century. The first documented immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania in 1731 (Johnson-Weiner, Karen M., 2010, p.14).
There was a second set of Amish arrivals from the French territories. They opted to settle apart from the first wave of settlers. This was due to the fact they viewed the original settlers as too conservative. They instead chose to live in New York, Ohio, Iowa and Ontario. After 1860 migration of the Amish from overseas ceased. (Johnson-Weiner, Karen M., 2010. p.16).
We have identified that the Amish are primarily horticulturalists as they subsist on what they can grow and farm. (McLaughlin, D., 2007). They plant a number of different crops depending on the season.
Today the Old Order Amish engage in crop rotation. They currently employ a four-year rotation schedule. They may plant corn for two years, oats for a year and hay for the forth year.
The Amish believe that as caretakers they are entrusted with care of the land. As such they are responsible for and go through great pains to make sure it is taken care of properly. (Egenes, L, 2009. p.14). They believe in organic fertilization methods using mainly manure. These practices ensure that the land remains fertile and not depleted of one particular mineral or the other.
In recent times agricultural farming as a primary means of support may be rapidly changing. The number of men that farm full time has decreased from 33% to 17% between 1988-2000. This trend has continued downward to below 10%. This has made the Amish more reliant on tourism, commercialism or having a larger manufacturing enterprise. (Hurst, C. ,McConnell, D. 2010 p. 175).
The Amish have an interesting social order in terms of clothing, marriage and interaction.
The rules are set by the "Rules of order or the Ordung. (Powell, A., n.d.). These rules are set by the local Bishop and governs all matters of everyday life. Clothing must be plain with no patterns or jewelry. Men's pants have no zippers and belts are not worn. Instead flaps across the zipper area and suspenders are worn. Women wear long dresses, with perhaps a cape, apron or bonnet.
They are allowed to dye the dresses different colors. This is to portray and show modesty and eschew frivolousness. (Walbert, D., 2002. p.31).