Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Patchwork Of Farms

Do you see this? Do you know what it is? It's land. Acres and acres of land. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Isn't it amazing? Click to make it bigger - you'll see what I mean.

It's a screen shot from my iPad - I was navigating in the truck yesterday using the mapping program, and as I was looking at this I thought, "Boy, that's beautiful."
According to a website that provides buggy rides to the visitors in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania: "There are approximately 4,800 small farms in Lancaster County. That's more small farms than any county in the United States. Approximately 2,000 of these farms are dairy farms with the remaining 2,800 being producers of poultry and pork products.

Amish farms in Lancaster number about 1,500. Lancaster County produces more milk, eggs, and poultry meat than any county in the US. It is fourth ranked in hog production.

In spite of being the most intensely farmed, highly productive agricultural region in the world, Lancaster County still has to bring in feed. This is due to the large amount of animals (chickens and hogs) in confinement. In an average year the county imports about 600,000 tons of shell corn, most of which comes from Ohio and Indiana. Millions of pounds of hay comes in from as far away as Canada."

Pretty amazing, isn't it? Here's a photo of a farmer working his field with horses pulling his equipment.
I love driving through these areas and seeing the Amish working the fields like this. It still amazes me that they're not tempted to use modern equipment. Or electricity. But I did see a girl with a cell phone - that's allowed, because it's not a "wire coming into the home connecting them to the outside world" - wires in the home are verboten.
We drove through Lancaster, Bird-In-Hand and Intercourse; missed Blue Ball, though. Gotta love those charming town names.

At the Bird-In-Hand Farmer's Market, I bought fruits and vegetables and a beautiful pork roast - what else would I buy in an area that's ranked fourth in hog production?? I already have a tasty plan for it.


Gil said...

Love Lancaster County! Beautiful story and pictures.

-KTS- said...

The screen shot from your iPad of Lancaster County is just beautiful... I think it would make an awesome "modern art" painting on a living room!

And thanks for the explanation about cell phones ;)