Maine’s Amish community plans to renew farm lifestyle after expanded into Wales

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Maine’s Amish community plans to renew farm lifestyle after expanded into Wales
Maine’s Amish community plans to renew farm lifestyle after expanded into Wales

The Androscoggin County town is thrilled to have a dozen Amish families moving in to grow vegetables and make cheese. A dozen Amish families are moving onto a large farm off Leeds Junction Road, creating Maine’s fifth enclave of the simple-living, tradition-minded Christian sect. It’s going to be great said neighbor Nancy Blaisdell, who has lived across the street for more than four decades.

The town’s first selectman, Paul Burgess, said they plan to grow vegetables and make cheese to sell. The Amish themselves, though pleasant and smiling, were mum Thursday about their plans.

Maine’s Amish community plans to renew farm lifestyle after expanded into Wales
Maine’s Amish community plans to renew farm lifestyle after expanded into Wales

Details about the new plan

The Amish are best-known for avoiding many modern conveniences, including automobiles. On Thursday, two Amish men arrived at the building site for their creamery standing in a wagon pulled by a pickup truck. When it came to a stop, the two men hopped off onto the ground, each carrying a bicycle. Out on the road, a brown and white draft horse pulled a wagon surprisingly fast. Several Amish women guided the horse while a number of children sat with other women behind them, smiling at the cars that cautiously passed.

Why expanded to wales?

There are about 250,000 Amish in the United States and Canada, nearly all committed to a rural, humble lifestyle. Few live in New England. Burgess said at least one family is coming from Ohio, which has a number of Amish people, and another from Smyrna, an Aroostook County town where some Amish settled more than two decades ago. Three of the 12 families he expects are already in town, he said, all having arrived this month. Blaisdell said, though, the deal’s been in the works for a while.

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What’s the impact of expansion? 

Burgess and Blaisdell said the Amish bought the land from Roger Fortin, a longtime farmer who’s been looking for the right buyer since at least 2012 when the Sun Journal wrote about his desire to pass his 350-acre farm to someone who would work the land.

 

 

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