By Kevin Williams
Some interesting stuff on this week's edition of "Weekly Blogroll", from strawberries to schools, so let's get right into it!
AMISH SCHOOLS: Tom the Backroads traveler posts some serene scenes of Amish schools that dot the rural Upstate New York landscape. Not sure where these photos were taken but in the rural Conewango Valley of western New York (where there is a sprawling Amish settlement) they try to have Amish schools built so that no student is more than a mile from the building. They try to structure the schools so that they are an easy walk or buggy ride away from home. I once saw an Amish boy going to school on cross-country skis in western New York and another just riding horse-back. So whatever works!:) It's tempting to think these schools are super-cheap to run and by comparison to public schools they are, but tuition to an Amish school can still run a couple of thousand for a year per child and if you have multiple kids - as most Amish families do - that can add up (which is why some Amish home-school their children or send them to public). The biggest expenses is the salary of the teacher and often there are two teachers that need to be paid at schools, and then you start adding in expenses of textbooks, desks, school supplies, etc, that adds up. Click here to enjoy some of Tom's images.
EDITOR'S PICK - 8 Lessons From An Amish Grandmother: Interesting article. I'm thinking the gist is that this lady's grandma left the Amish in 1942 after becoming pregnant and married a non-Amish diary farmer. So she was able to continue living at least a somewhat agrarian existence. I'd think it'd be too much culture shock otherwise. Anyway, the woman's granddaughter relays some life lessons from her Amish grandmother. Compelling points. Click here to read what they are!
AMISH CHURCH HIERARCHY: This is an interesting blog entry for anyone curious about how the Amish church is structured. There is no "Amish pope." Instead, each church has their own bishop who wields immense influence. But he (always he) is assisted by a group of clergy and this blog post lays it all out in an easy-to-read flow chart. Click here to see.
AMISH COUNTRY STRAWBERRY RECIPES: Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio shares some strawberry gems this week, including a recipe for good, old-fashioned strawberry shortcake! Check out all of the strawberry recipes here!
EDITOR'S PICK - FASCINATING STUFF (If you like numbers, etc.): I have often talked about how running Amish365 can be economically challenging. I think part of the problem is that this isn't really a food blog per se and I don't know that it ever will be. I consider myself a journalist with an expertise in Amish and Plain cultures, not a food expert. Yet, food is such a big part of Amish culture that I do focus on it. I also have other interests, travels, a daughter, etc, so I sort of throw it all into the mix and that might dilute "brand identity" a bit. But, holy cow, look at the income Pinch of Yum racks up! They actually post their monthly income reports online (clever on their part because while most bloggers guard that info as if it's the Colonel's seven herbs and spices recipe, Pinch of Yum makes posting their info part of their traffic draw)...Anyway, if you look at their expenses it gives you a good idea of what I face (plus, I have writers to pay) and then look at their income. Again, all I can say is Holy Cow. If I did a fraction of what they did I'd be content. Click here to see for yourself.