Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Buy It In Bulk

We use alot of spices here in Hickery Holler. With all the cooking from scratch, baking and sausage making that we do.... several times a year O Wise One and I make a trip to Amish country. Here we can buy those things we use alot of in bulk saving us money.  

We are fortunate to live close to Jamesport, Missouri which is home to the largest settlement of Old Order Amish in the state. The trip is like a trip back in time as we drive through the winding backroads passing large clapboard houses and huge barns. The countryside dotted with these huge white houses and surrounded by the trappings of country life. Clothes lines loaded with clothes drying in the fresh air despite the cold temperatures. Mountains of firewood split and ready out the back doors.  Horses parked in driveways and parking lots and the roads littered with road apples (aka horse poop). Signs in front yards advertising everyhting from fresh yard eggs to quilts and woodworking items. We buy many things from the Amish. My dining room oak chairs were handmade by the Amish and are of a quality that you would rarely find in stores anymore. These are people that live as we do. A people of the land. A people that live separately from much of society and pride themselves on producing much of what they need in life. 

A people that grow what they eat, sew what they wear and live in what they build. There are no designer labels, no chain restaurants, few cell phones or fancy cars. A people of family and god that is visible in how they live and who they are. The dedication of these people to their family and their faith humbles me everytime I travel to their community. I wonder could I live with no electricity and cars? Would I be willing to make these choices everyday for my faith? 

O Wise One and I purchase our sea salt,cinnamon and spices, yeast and honey for a substantial savings and start the drive home. To the land of electric poles and pickup trucks. Each time we leave it is with a new appreciation for these simple people and their simple and I am sure difficult way of life.   

For those of you who don't live near an Amish village try finding a bulk food source. You would be suprised at how much cheaper you can buy some things minus all that pretty packaging.  Especially items that you use a lot of on a regular basis.   

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Love the post. I've often wondered about living a more simplified life style. The Amish are truly an example to follow.

  2. We shop for bulk items at a Mennonite store a few towns over about two or three times a year. The owners used to go to the Mennonite church we attended for a while. They moved and sold their house and the store. The new owners added on a bakery as well as more items into the store. It's a struggle to go in there because I want too many things. lol There used to be a "old timey" store called Cumberland General store as you were going into this town. They tore it down a few years ago and I was heartbroken. It was like stepping back in time with all the old timey gadgets, bonnets, aprons, cheese making room, and more. Everything a country girl (or boy) would love. I'm not sure if they combined it with another store on the other side of town or what but I sure do miss it.

  3. I'm originally from Michigan. My brother travels to an Amish town in Ohio from time to time and says they make the best sausage and bacon around. :)

    I am pretty sure we don't have anything like that here, but I would love going if they did. :)

  4. We have a health food store that I shop in and the price for items is all far lower that you would buy packaged! Looks like you had a good day with it.

  5. Beautiful picture! Love that horse next to the car~ such symbolism there. The Amish have always fascinated me, but like you I am not sure that I really want to give up the luxuries of electricity, indoor plumbing, etc. I have found a happy medium with the farm and Walmart:))

  6. I too live relatively close to Amish communities. And, I too buy some of my spices and such in bulk from them.

    I also have the added bonus of shopping at a few Mennonite fabric stores. Such an interesting culture and way of living life.

  7. I've never been to an area where the Amish live-but would love to see it in real life-neat that you can get what you need there in bulk-and come away with an appreciation for their lifestyle too!

  8. Ive been looking for some Amish or Mennonite around here by me. Doesnt seem to be any in Oregon. I used to shop with the Amish tho when I lived in NJ. I miss it.

    I remember buying fresh churned butter and home smoked meats. Real food. Now I try to buy bulk when I can, there are a few stores around here that sell like that. But some Im not so sure of the quality.

    I have found buying herbs and spices even from the health food stores are much cheaper than the little bottles in the stores. Meanwhile, Ive started a new herb garden here in my new home and hopefully this year there will be much more to use.


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