By Kevin Williams
We have a lot of Amish in the news this week, so let's dive right in!
TRICKLING SPRINGS CREAMERY FLAMES OUT: A Mennonite man has been convicted of defrauding Amish and Mennonite investors of over 60 million dollars. Wow, that's a lot. Still, you wonder whether the man somehow just got in over his head or if his intent was to create a Ponzi scheme that bilked a bunch of people. To me, that's at the heart of the issue is the man's intent and I am not sure that was ever fleshed out with certainty. But you can read the whole article here.
THE WALNUT CREEK FLEA MARKET PROGRESSING: After being heavily damaged by fire last year, it appears this Ohio Amish country mainstay is closer to reopening! Click here to read the latest.
INDIANA AMISH EDUCATION: This is interesting. Since Yoder vs. Wisconsin settled the issue in the 1970s, the Amish have generally steadfastedly left school after the eighth grade. But recent macroeconomic changes impacting the Amish have led to a desire for some Amish kids to go to school through 10th grade. Such expanding of education could help Amish teens become familiar with computers and vocations that could help them in their work life. The problem is, as it now stands, an Amish kid attends a couple of years of high school and then leaves after the 10th grade, the school gets dinged for having a lower graduation rate. Too much of that can impact funding from the state. So a new bill in Indiana proposes to change this quirk by not punishing schools that enroll Amish through the 10th grade. Click here to read more.
This is a positive move because farming is less and less of a viable way for Amish to make a living and teenagers who want to remain Amish but need to learn a vocation often have few options.
PIONEER PLACE: Maine's Down East Magazine has a short feature about a fun Amish store located in Smyrna. I've been to Pioneer Place a time or two and it's a great store. Click here to read more.
MILLIE'S COCONUT CHIP COFFEECAKE: Man, I love coconut, so I'd probably swoon over this cake. I know many people aren't coconut fans, but I don't understand those people! So, to check in with Illinois Amish columnist Millie Otto this week and get a super recipe, click here.
AMISH BARN SOUP AND PEANUT BUTTER PIE: Now, this surprised me. Ohio's first lady, Fran DeWine, has an occasion newspaper column that usually focuses on softer policy issues that help her husband's administration. This week, though, she veered off into some anecdotes about a recent visit to Amish country in Ohio and then talked about one of her favorite recipes, one that I had never heard of: Amish Barn Soup. The recipe sounds intriguing. And she also shares a recipe for Amish peanut butter pie also, so click here for these two Amish recipes from Ohio's first lady.