First of all, I'd like to belatedly welcome the Clare County Cleaver to The Amish Cook family. They have begun carrying The Amish Cook column, replacing The Clare Sentinel the now defunct paper which had been running the column. A big thanks to editor Alan Blanchard, a fixture in Central Michigan journalism for bringing the column to Clare County from Greenville, Michigan where it still runs.
Okay, I was on my way back home from Manton, Michigan last week so I decided to explore Clare County's sizable Amish community. It was later in the day than I wanted, but I was still hoping I could find some people to talk to or see something interesting and I wasn't disappointed. After wasting about an hour exploring the wrong side of Clare (the Amish settlements are located east of Clare, not west), I finally found the Amish settlements along Surrey and Tobacco Roads. In this area there are three Swartzentruber Amish communities. Like most Swartzentruber Amish, this community is very conservative, but I found the families I did meet to be engaging and welcoming. The pictures below show a really neat produce stand that I found. The address is on the mailbox, so that is where you want to head for some wonderful home-canned pie fillings, soups, relishes, produce and eggs if you are anywhere near Clare. I've seen many Amish-run produce stands, but few that have such variety. It's not a large place by any means, just a roadside stand in the middle of absolutely nowhere, which makes the variety all the more impressive. And the produce was top-notch, raised within a stone's throw of the stand. So you don't get much more "farm to fork" than that. Take a look at more scenes from this awesome produce place. Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll share more scenes from Clare and more information about the community.