Sunday, March 15, 2009

I went to a lecture at the Columbus Mennonite Church here in Columbus. The lecture was given by David Kline, an Amish farmer from Holmes County here in Ohio. I was hoping to get some tidbits about how to garden better, simpler and more organically. David was a delightful speaker and very refreshing. I learned more about actual farming than gardening but it was still interesting.

As the lecture began, a member of the church was invited to come up and lead us in two songs. The first song was sung acapella and must have been in 5 part harmony. It was quite amazing and it did not appear that there were "special" singers in the group. In fact, when asked how many were not from the Amish/Mennonite tradition, most hands went up. Many folks came from the food co-op (Clintonville Community Market) or some other groups. The second song was Morning has Broken and I belted that one out (remembering my favorite artist-- Cat Stevens).

The lecture was interesting in terms of learning more about Amish culture. David had many jokes and many one liners that caught my attention. I could not capture them all but I wrote down a few:



  • Best health insurance is to eat food grown on fertile soil.


  • Plowing on a 75 degree day is pure pleasure-- it is almost sinful.


  • We grow the most wonderful oatmeal-- sometimes, I don't even cook it-- just eat it straight. If you want some, come by the farm -- I think it is 70 or 80 cents a pound.


  • Work is a privilege.


  • Always be careful about statistics. (Told a story about how it was reported in the paper that folks in Holmes county are less healthy. He knew that could not be true given that he knows that there is less incidence of heart attacks and other ailments. Turns out they said this in the paper because Holmes County has a low participation rate in health clubs).

David has written a book called (among others):

If interested you can read a review of the book here.

The big concept he shared at the lecture is that by having horses and cows that eat the hay, create manure, feed the soil -- all the while working the farm, you get the best yield and best product.

1 comment:

tiffany said...

How interesting, I would have loved to have been able to go to that lecture!
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