A while ago my girlfriend dragged me about 2 hours away to a place where there’s a good sized Amish community. This community offers a lot of services to us lazy and overly dependent city folks. Aside from making some of the sturdiest furniture I have every seen, I was a bit taken back when we went to their grocery store.
I went into the store not really knowing what to expect. She had a list of some things she wanted to pick up. While we were looking for some of the stuff she wanted, I started looking at things on the shelves. Aside from having super fresh meat and vegetables, they had a lot of dried fruits. They had bulk spices. They had large quantities of things like extra virgin olive oil at a reasonable price…for a gallon!
Once I started seeing things they had to offer, I went back through some of the isles again and looked a little closer. There was a mason jar with a kerosene lantern top for about 5 dollars. You could just get the top that would fit any mason jar for $2.50. Things like cast iron pans were very reasonably priced too.
At this point, I was thinking I should have brought more cash with me.
Another thing I really fell in love with was the meal mixes. I mean they were soup mixes and things of that nature. They had larger quantities than you will find prepackaged at your everyday grocery store and they were less expensive too. I bought a few small packages to try and they tasted really good. I had a chili and a cheddar and rice mix. Both made enough for three servings for two people. Well worth the 5 dollars. These were just add water powdered food. I was really surprised to say the least. They were also not filled with all the preservatives and other stuff city people stores might be paying extra for.
Then I got to looking at how they ran things without electricity. In the ceiling were, what looked like, your normal florescent light housings, but were actually skylights. They lit up the store really well having them scattered all over the store.
The Amish have a pretty good thing going in terms of self sufficiency. This one visit to the store had me sold. What I couldn’t get an answer to was how long it could be stored. Many of the items didn’t have an expiration date on them. This threw me for a loop because I am so used to seeing them on food that’s marketed to us on TV. Living in Wisconsin, I have a chain of stores who sell basically everything you would need if you were a farmer. The thing is, the food bought there is still made with the same things you get in your food if you go to most other chain stores. Having a one-stop-shop for all things self-sufficient can really help.
What I’ve found, thanks to my super smart girlfriend, was looking at your food storage and other self-sufficiency needs from the masters of living the way we should doesn’t need to be stressful or even need an awful event to happen. Self-sufficiency should be a way of life could all adopt for one reason or another.
Have you ever been to an Amish grocery store? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.