Plain Talk about the Amish: The Kitchen Garden

Suzanne Amish

“Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow.” Amish proverb

(C) Bill Coleman/

Whenever I visit my Amish friends, I always make a point of wandering out to their vegetable gardens to see what’s growing. Their gardens, usually not far from the kitchen, are bigger than most people’s backyards. Gardens, for the Amish, are a family affair. Husbands help their wives ready the soil and add the homebrewed fertilizer (ahem, manure), children help their moms plant, weed, and harvest.

Like so many parts of the Plain life, their value of the home garden—for the sake of nutrition, for sustenance, for well-being—is a wonderful example to those of us who weren’t farm-raised. They’ve been living a sustainable life filled with fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables for over four hundred years. The rest of us are just catching on.

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