Late April through May is planting season. You may see farmers drilling oat or grain seeds in horse drawn planters like the one above. Oat seed may also be spread on top of the ground.
Early Spring Field Preparation
As soon as the spring thaw and moisture conditions allow, you will see industrious farmers readying ground for spring planting. This dirty and taxing labor has been somewhat curtailed by newer no till techniques in modern farmers, but since the Amish do not use chemical herbicides, soil preparation to reduce weeds is still necessary.
Regardless of the season, the livestock on any farm continue to produce natural fertilizers which needs to be spread over the ground to enrich the soil. If you meet either of the vehicles pictured above or below on the road, you may want to keep your distance.
The Heart of the Amish Farm
No Amish farm would be able to survive long with out the assistance and hard labor of the horse. Whether it is a draft horse hauling a plow in the field or a carriage horse pulling a buggy to services, the horse is invaluable to the Amish farmer.
Summertime. . .
and the living is not easy
July and August in Iowa are often hot and humid, but that doesn't mean the Amish take it easy. Clockwise photos show women busy weeding gardens, picking, canning garden produce, and selling surplus on roadside stands, afer rising early to milk the cows or hang the laundry on the clothesline.
A farmer disks out weeds in a field, oats and hay are cut, raked into rows, bundled into shocks to allow the grain to dry, then transported via haywagon to the barn.
No matter the season you visit the Amish countryside, there are always wonders to behold where its farmers are busy almost year round.
Late May and June will find farmers cultivating their fields to keep the weeds at bay. The Beechy Amish, who use more modern farming equipment, will have metal wheels that limit their ability to travel very far beyond the boundaries of their neighborhood.
And remember, all of this is done without electricity and air conditioning to cool off when they are finished with the work.
Late September and October is the season for harvest and everyone is involved in seeing to its completion. Whether it is the garden crop of pumpkins and squash, or the corn in the field, the season is a bittersweet mix of long hours, hard labor, and the satisfaction of full corn cribs, bins, and hay lofts for the cold winter ahead.