Amish man uses a router to make birdhouses and bird feeders.John, the craftsman responsible for our outstanding line of Poly-wood® birdhouses and feeders, grew up with 12 brothers and sisters on a 120-acre farm. Like many Amish men, his father was a true man of the earth who raised cows, hogs and chickens. He also grew corn and hay, and for several generations his family also grew spearmint and peppermint, which they distilled down to oils and sold to food manufacturers. Family legend has it his great-grandfather accidentally mixed the two crops one year; instead of tossing the combined spearmint and peppermint oil, the shrewd farmer sold it to a certain gum manufacturer as “double-mint”.

Many Amish farmers keep martin houses in order to attract the pest-eating purple martins, a type of migratory swallow that is notoriously picky about its living accommodations. These beautiful little birds can save a man a fortune in pesticides, and John enjoyed working with his dad building their “condos” and keeping them up. In the evenings when his work was done, John did some tinkering in the woodshop making wooden birdhouses and feeders for other birds as a pastime. Once he was married, he began raising ducks, which he did for seventeen years.

But eventually John found himself with a family of six to feed. To supplement the income from the ducks, John took a job in an RV factory. His hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed, and soon he found himself in the position as leader of the cabinet shop, which taught John even more about construction of wood products. He also worked in quality control, so he knows what a good finished product should look like.

When he was laid off from the factory in the fall of 2009, John looked for other ways to make an income. He began constructing tables from Poly-wood, a wood-like material made from recycled plastics, which led to a request for a Poly-wood bird feeder.

Star-shaped birdhouse made by an Amish craftmanThinking perhaps this was the perfect opportunity to start his own business, John made a few bird feeders from the colorful Poly-wood material and took them to a local swap meet. He sold eight the first day.

Soon John had a store interested in his products and his business was born. Since then he has expanded on his designs to include many varieties of bird houses and feeders. If you want to know how to attract a certain bird, John is the man to ask. Many of his feeders and houses are designed for certain birds, such as the bluebird feeder.

Have a look at our entire collection of John’s bird feeders and birdhouses.