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On a very crisp Saturday morning at the Bowling Green City Park, 140 people, both women and men loaded onto three buses to go visit the Bowling Green Amish Community. The Lincoln/Pike Women in Ag group, with help from the Amish, put together a full day of sightseeing, shopping, learning and eating.  While only two buses were originally reserved, an overwhelming response to be on the tour required the group to order another bus. 

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Each bus went into different directions to the various stops but all buses would see every stop eventually. 

To keep the tour on a more intimate level and not overwhelm any of the stops, it was imperative to have a schedule and stick to it. 

Each stop let everyone see all the various businesses the Amish held.

At one stop, J & D Woodworking, attendees saw how machines could run without electricity to cut and create all the beautiful, custom-made cabinets. 

Diesel engines with a line shaft and v-belts allow the machines to run.  

Also here, is one of a few bulk food stores of the community.  Another stop would lead to Hilty’s Custom Meats and Hilty’s Bee Yards. 

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A person could fill up their freezers with meat from here or the meat they had raised and then taken here to process. A small store filled with honeys and jams lined the shelves, all made right there on the farm. The tour included a look into how the honey business is run from ordering bees to collecting the honey.

Just before lunch, one bus went to D & L Bakery. Here they were able to purchase what was left after the other two larger busses had almost cleared the shelves before them!  

Cookies, pies, turnovers were just a few of the items for sale.  Lena Wagler, baker, wife and mother, was gracious enough to board each bus as they passed through to give a brief history of the bakery and about her Amish community.  

By this point, everyone was hungry. 

The group was off to the warm Amish Community Center for a home cooked meal by Fannie Yoder and several of the other ladies in the community. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, veggie casserole, salad and numerous desserts delighted everyone’s palette.

Next stop – Hilltop Furniture & Variety store.  One could find furniture and household items both antique and modern here. Many treasures! The last stop was the M & L Greenhouse. 

Between the large bi-annual Amish Auction held the previous weekend and their normal customers, Loretta Yoder did not have many plants left, but did have rugs that her mother-in-law wove and some quilts made by the ladies.

Finally it was back to the park to drop off everyone and all their treasures.  The day warmed.  Many friendships and business connections were created.  “Will you be holding the tour next year?” was a popular question.  

The Lincoln/Pike WIA will not be holding the tour again in the near future, but maybe in a few years. 

The group holds two events each year, sometimes workshops and sometimes tours and wants to offer a variety of topics/destinations. Save the date for the next adventure on May 2, 2020.  Call (636) 528-4877, 3 or email Katie.owens@swcd.mo.gov to get on their email mailing list.

 

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