Auntie Mary took us to the famous St Jacob’s market today. Sadly we didn’t really have time to poke around much but we did have time to take a tour of a local sugar bush old order Mennonite farm by horse which was pretty neat.
Here’s what I wrote down about our tour. The farm has had 7 generations since 1800s.
There’s 110L of sap per tree, and 2800 taps. They also sell firewood.
34 students in one school until grade 8, with two teachers. Teachers never go to high school, college or university. Kids then help at home for two years then at 16 they go to other farms to find out how other families do things.
Some old order students do go to public school. Old Order and Amish Mennonites aren’t opposed to education but opposed to influence so generally won’t allow students to go to university.
In this area there are 19 Old Order churches - every second Sunday this family goes to their home church which is 4km away. Otherwise they will go visit another church maybe 2 hours by buggy away. Host up to 40 people for lunch.
They must wait until 18 to dage, encouraged to marry within own group. Old order gets married around ages 22-25.
The Wedding takes place at the bride’s farm by tradition. Bride makes own food. Wedding dress is navy blue and is usually around 100 people. Parents paid for the wedding, usually around 5-6$ per guest. Focus is on family, friends, good food.
Matthew and Elizabeth thought the most interesting part was about how the kids got to drive their own pony cart around Matthew’s age. They’d like to ride in a buggy to go to school. I pointed out this might be less fun in the winter but Matthew thought maybe he could be a Mennonite during the spring and fall. (In the summer he wants to go to camp and the cottage!)
After the tour we went to a church from a more modern Mennonite tradition - my Aunt Judy and Uncle Murray’s Church was the location of Joanne’s wedding shower. We enjoyed getting to know her family very much as she prepares to join ours. Lots of beautiful teacups and treats and toys for the kids!