Fall Amish Tours

Fall is a prime time to ride along on a Bluffscape Amish tour.  The leaves are just starting to change color.  I recently heard on the news that the fall foliage will be the most vibrant we have seen in years.  I can’t wait!  Fall is my favorite season, but sometimes I wish summer could follow fall instead of winter.  Wouldn’t that be great?

The Amish have autumn produce such as onions, squash, and pumpkins for sale.   The Amish will be husking corn once the corn dries down in the field.  Much activity happens on the farm in preparation for winter.

No Pictures Please

Winter seems to be hanging on a bit longer this year than last year. Before the rain/snow this past week, a few Amish were able to get their team of horses and farm equipment ready for spring field work. While driving along on our tours, we were fortunate to see a few Amish cultivating the soil and planting oats. Spring is a wonderful time to see the Amish farmers working in their fields and the women and children planting their gardens. Many Amish had already planted cabbage, radishes, and lettuce and covered the ground with garden fabric to keep ground warm so the plants can start to grow in the cool weather.

When you come along on our Amish tours, please refrain from taking pictures of the Amish. The Amish do not want their picture taken. The Bible verse from Deuteronomy 5:8 states: “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” The Amish find the camera offensive, so please refrain from taking photos of them out of respect. This is one reason why I don’t post many photos about the Amish on my blog. If appropriate, I will share photos from our tours of craft goods, animals, and buildings, as I know how much people like looking at photographs.

Please consider coming along on a Bluffscape Amish Tour this spring! There is much activity to see on the Amish farms regardless of rain or snow (but I prefer sunshine). Let us do the driving and we will tell you all about the history and culture of our Amish neighbors in the Lanesboro, Canton, and Harmony area.

2011 Amish Tour Season Approaches

The off-season is coming to a close and I will be starting my fourth Amish Tour season with Bluffscape Amish Tours. One would think that Minnesota winters drag on, but my winter has quickly disappeared. Now I’m looking forward to getting the van and bus ready to drive our guests around the Amish countryside again. It’s time to refresh my memory and get out to visit our Amish friends.

Tours officially start Saturday, March 12th at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Unless mother nature decides to dump a lot of snow or ice over the weekend, we will be ready to go. We continue only on Saturdays in March and we will offer tours Mon. – Sat. starting in April running through the end of October.
Occasionally, I will go out on a special Amish tour in the off-season. I had the privilege of taking a young lady on a tour this winter. She had a school assignment to complete on the Amish culture. As a former teacher, I wanted to help this sophomore with her report. It also got me out to see how the Amish folks were doing. What impressed me most is that this student traveled about three hours to get to Lanesboro! She earned an A+ for her research project!
Many folks spend days, week, or months visiting the Mayo Clinic for various medical reasons. Days can get long waiting for lab work, consults, and other appointments. A couple from Rhode Island needed to get out of town for a change after spending two weeks at the clinic, so on their day off I picked them up in Rochester and brought them out to visit the Amish. What a fun couple and I think they were happy to have a diversion for the day!
The Amish farmers market will be opening the end of April, therefore, those coming along on the tour before then will not be able stop and get gooey glazed donuts, the world’s best banana bars, or sugar cookies that melt in your mouth–you will have to come back later to check that out!

Fall Amish News

I really had fun giving a tour on Saturday with three ladies–two sisters and their mom. While Minneapolis and other parts of Minnesota were experiencing a snow storm, we had a little rain to contend with, but not enough to dampen our spirits to enjoy the Amish tour. While on the tour we found out another Amish wedding is going to take place on the 18th of this week. A young Amish man that I have become acquainted with the past few years is getting married. He has purchased an old farm along our route. It has been interesting the see the progress he is making on his property from building a small barn to installing new windows and painting the outside of the house. It is going to be a cute little farm for this young Amish couple.

Also, another Amish family is heading to Mexico by Amtrak to seek medical attention for a few days. Hopefully, they will have safe travels and will find the help that they need. Since the Amish around here do not carry health insurance it is more affordable for them to seek medical help in Mexico and they will probably enjoy some nice weather while they are down south.

For those who have enjoyed a treat at the Amish farmers market, they will be closing for the season next weekend. I will miss the world’s best sugar cookies, frosted banana bars, raised-glazed donuts, cinnamon and caramel pecan rolls, and their monster cookie bars. In addition to the delicious treats, I will miss visiting with the young ladies that work at the market. They are always greet you with a smile and enjoy visiting, too.

Bluffscape Amish Tours will have a few schedule changes as well. I had advertised tours for Friday, but something has come up and I’m unable to keep Friday’s tours scheduled. Saturday, November 20th, I may be only able to offer a 1:30 tour. If you are interested in going on a tour, please call our number on the website to check for available tours. There will be no tours on Thanksgiving weekend, as we are all off for the holiday. We are offering one more special tour on Saturday, December 4th at 10 a.m. After the 4th we will be done for the season. Before you know it, March will be here and it will be time to start another Amish Tour season!

A Great Year for Bluffscape Amish Tours

It is hard to believe that our Amish Tours are winding down for the season. We have now transitioned to just Saturdays in November. If there is a group of more than four that would like a special tour during the week, I would be glad to take you on a tour (weather permitting). I miss visiting with our Amish friends already and it has only been a week! The picture above shows the location of our tours at the Feed Mill where Cheryl’s Apparel and Tours and Treasures are located.

We have been fortunate to have such beautiful weather in Lanesboro this fall. Hopefully, it will continue throughout the winter, but this is Minnesota and you never know what the weather will be like tomorrow!
The Amish have been busy chopping and stacking wood for this winter. They are good to get together and help family members and friends accomplish this goal. Amish use wood buring stoves for cooking and baking and for heating their homes and shops. Some Amish may use coal burning stoves as well.

A new Amish bed and breakfast is opening near Canton right on our tour route. A non-Amish purchased an Amish farm and hired an Amish lady to work at the B & B. If you are wanting to live like the Amish for a night or two, you will have to check it out. When I find out more information about the B & B, I’ll post it.


New Bluffscape Amish Tour Bus

We are so excited to be driving our new Bluffscape Amish Tour bus! It is very comfortable and the seats are around the perimeter of the bus. The bus seats 14 and there is room for storing a few items. Our new bus provides easy access for those who have trouble getting in and out of a van.

If you are going on a Bluffscape Amish Tour, be sure to go all the way to the north end of Lanesboro to 102 E. Beacon St. located in the red Feed Mill at Lanesboro’s Tours and Treasures. Unknown to us, our competitor had a friend purchase our old bus and it still has our business name on it. We were lead to believe it was going out of the state. Be sure to get on the right bus when you arrive for our tours so you won’t be disappointed! We strive to give professional, educational, and fun tours to learn all about the Amish way of life. Check out www.bluffscape.com for more information about Bluffscape Amish Tours in Lanesboro.

August Harvest and Canning

Another summer is soon coming to a close and once again, I haven’t had a chance to write on my blog. Amish tours have been keeping us busy everyday in August. I did get a chance to sneak away on vacation with the family. Thanks to Eric and Vern for their guiding expertise while we were away. Our family had a wonderful time in SD, NE, WY, MT, ND, and MN. Lots of driving, but well worth it!

Now is a great time to go on an Amish tour as the Amish are working in their fields binding corn, chopping and blowing it into their silos. The also can be found loading alfalfa and baling it right in their farmyards. All of this is done with stationary diesel or gas engines and horse drawn equipment, no tractors. Many Amish have garden produce available for purchase at their farms. Melons, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers are a few veggies from their garden they have for sale. Amish ladies have been canning bushels of tomatoes, tomato juice, and tomato salsa. The peaches have been canned and now I have seen that pears have arrived and they will be next on the list to preserve.

One Amish lady on our tour has finished two new quilts–dahlia and lone star patterns. She also takes custom orders for quilts as well. She pieces the quilts with her treadle sewing machine and hand stitches the top. They really are a work of art.

Enjoy the end of summer! Soon the kids will be back in school and our schedules will revolve around school activies as well as work.

Humble Amish

I’m always amazed at the positive attitudes my Amish friends have when visiting with them. We were talking about the weather (The weather always comes up in conversations in Minnesota!) We have been experiencing the dog days of summer this past week and Mary was planning to can cherries and blueberry jam today. I asked if she had to use her wood buring stove in the kitchen to do the canning. Sometimes the Amish women have oil buring stoves in a summer kitchen so they don’t heat up the house. Mary said yes, she was using the stove in her kitchen and it was going to get hot, but she had done it before and survived the heat! How many people do you know that would have complained about the heat and wouldn’t bother to work in it and save the work for a cooler day? I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have and try not to complain too much. I have it a lot easier than many of the Amish who burn wood for cooking, put up with the heat without air conditioning, and ride in their warm buggies pulled by sweaty horses while fast-driving English (what the Amish call the non-Amish) pass them in their motor vehicles covering them with dust from the gravel roads.