Amish Country Journal

Reports and musings from Indiantree Farm, in Holmes County, Ohio -- the largest Amish community in the world. See more about author Larry D. Miller and Amish Country at

Friday, June 21, 2013

Yet Another Amish Country "Hidden Gem"

          My Amish friends never cease to amaze me, and it frequently happens while I'm behind the wheel of my pickup truck.
          I'm happy to help when an emergency pops up and someone needs quick transportation. 
          In this case, yesterday while cutting hay in one of my fields, a crucial belt on Jonas's "power unit" (which I call a horse-drawn" Amish tractor") became frayed to the breaking point.
          He needed a new belt – and quick.
          So we headed off into the hinterlands and within a few miles, found ourselves on a narrow, gravel road that I'd pretty much overlooked for about half a century.
          And there, in the middle of a moderate-sized forest, entirely off the grid, was a new but nondescript building identified only by a small sign out front, proclaiming "Trail Farm Supply."
          Once inside the shop I was confronted by an antiseptically-clean machine shop, with Amish men busy at welding, cutting and fabricating machines.  There were huge stocks of square and round tubing, heavy metal sheets and all the tools to turn these raw materials into farm implements.
          In this modest shop, off the grid and hidden in the wilderness of backwoods Amish Country, these men create horse-drawn tools and machinery to keep Amish farmers competitive with the modern world.
          Oh, and of course they had the desperately-needed belt, a six-inch-wide number with a price tag of more than $100.
          These guys may be off the grid, but they're not out of touch with their market.
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