Ricky asks…

How many acres total is a typical Amish farm? How many acres in pasture and crop? Thank You!

This is a challenging question to answer! Viola did not have an exact answer for this, so we have asked around to our other Amish friends. A good estimate would be around 40 to 60 acres, but this number varies widely depending on their occupation. An Amish farmer can easily own over a hundred acres for crops, garden, pasture grazing and woods. But if the homeowner is a craftsman, the family may only have a few acres for their horses to graze. Then there are those who do both, so they might have 20 or more acres. They might work in a factory and run a small farm with horses, cows, pigs, chickens, corn crops, a large garden, etc. Thanks for writing and helping us to learn something new!

Tammy from Michigan asks…

Do you go to singings?

Yes, I do go to singings occasionally. Singings are youth gatherings where hymns or traditional praise songs are sung without instruments. These singings are usually held at the home of the family that recently hosted church, so there is room ready for a large group (often 100 – 150 people).

Tammy from Michigan also asks…

Also wondering why the Amish have to keep their relationships a secret till the engagement is announced in the Amish paper, The Budget?

Relationships are not kept secret until engagement is announced. Only the wedding plans are not talked about publicly until the engagement is announced because something can always happen, such as a breakup, before the engagement or wedding. Engagement announcements are not usually published in the Budget, but most often in local Amish publications.

…and one more question from Tammy in Michigan:

I read a lot of fiction books about the Amish written by an author who has Amish relatives. Are you allowed to read fiction and romantic books?

Regarding books, we are allowed to read whatever we wish. Something spiritually edifying is best, because you often think and do what you read.

[Editor’s Note: It has been our experience that what we’ve read in Amish fiction does not necessarily match the life of the Amish we know. This might be because Amish fiction is a blend of fact and fiction. Or it might be based on the author’s knowledge and experience. For example, they might be writing from an earlier time period, like the 1950’s when certain rules applied then, but are different now. Or they are writing from the experiences of Amish in a specific community.]