What the Amish Ate During the Great Depression

What the Amish Ate During the Great Depression

\## What the Amish Ate During the Great Depression

The Great Depression was a challenging time for many people in America. Money was scarce, jobs were hard to come by, and food was in short supply. However, one group of people managed to thrive during this difficult period – the Amish. Known for their self-sufficiency and frugal living, the Amish were able to provide for themselves and their communities despite the economic hardships. So, what did the Amish eat during the Great Depression? Let’s take a look.

\### The Amish Diet

The Amish diet during the Great Depression consisted of simple, hearty, and nourishing meals. Their meals were primarily made from what they grew and raised on their farms, and they wasted very little. Here are some staple foods that were commonly found on the Amish table during this time:

\#### 1. Homegrown Vegetables

Vegetables were a crucial part of the Amish diet, as they provided essential vitamins and minerals. The Amish grew a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, beans, corn, cabbage, and tomatoes. They would often preserve their excess vegetables by canning or fermenting them for later use.

\#### 2. Home-raised Livestock

The Amish relied heavily on their livestock for meat, milk, and eggs. They raised chickens for their eggs and meat, cows for milk and butter, and pigs for their meat. Butchering was a common practice among the Amish, allowing them to have a constant supply of fresh meat.

\#### 3. Homemade Bread

Bread was a staple in the Amish diet, and the Amish women were skilled in the art of baking. They would bake bread using fresh ingredients, including home-milled flour, yeast, and salt. Bread was often made in large batches and stored for future consumption.

\#### 4. Preserves and Jams

The Amish were masters at preserving fruits and making jams. They would harvest berries, apples, and other fruits and turn them into delicious preserves. These preserves provided a burst of flavor and sweetness during the winter months when fresh fruits were scarce.

\#### 5. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes were a cheap and filling source of protein for the Amish during the Great Depression. They would often cook beans in soups, stews, or casseroles, adding flavor with herbs and spices.

\#### 6. Canned and Pickled Foods

Canning and pickling were essential skills for the Amish. They preserved their fruits, vegetables, and meats by canning them in jars or pickling them in vinegar. This allowed them to enjoy the taste of summer even in the winter months.

\#### 7. Simple Desserts

While sweet treats were not a priority during the Great Depression, the Amish still managed to enjoy some simple desserts. Fruit pies, puddings, and custards were all popular choices for a little indulgence.

\### Thrifty Tips from the Amish

The Amish were known for their frugality, making the most of what they had. Here are some thrifty tips from the Amish that can be applied to any modern-day situation:

\#### 1. Grow Your Own Food

Whether you have a large backyard or just a few pots on a balcony, growing your own food can save you money and provide you with fresh, nutritious produce. Start with easy-to-grow vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs, and gradually expand your garden.

\#### 2. Preserve Your Harvest

Preserving fruits and vegetables is a great way to extend their shelf life and reduce waste. Learn the art of canning, pickling, and fermenting, and enjoy the taste of summer all year round.

\#### 3. Cook from Scratch

Cooking meals from scratch not only saves you money but also allows you to control the ingredients and the quality of your food. Invest in basic cooking skills and experiment with new recipes.

\#### 4. Buy in Bulk

Buying staple items in bulk can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Items like rice, beans, grains, and pasta have a long shelf life and can be stored for months.

\#### 5. Make Do and Mend

Before throwing something away, consider if it can be repaired or repurposed. The Amish were masters at making do with what they had, and their resourcefulness is something we can all learn from.

\### My 2 Cents

The Amish way of life during the Great Depression offers valuable lessons in self-sufficiency, frugality, and making the most of what you have. By growing your own food, preserving your harvest, cooking from scratch, and embracing a more minimalist lifestyle, you too can weather any storm that comes your way. Take a page out of the Amish book and discover the true meaning of resilience and self-reliance.

\## Sources

1. [Amish Recipes](https://www.amish365.com/amish-recipe-index/)
2. [What did Amish people eat during the Great Depression?](https://ohioamishcountry.info/what-did-amish-people-eat-during-great-depression)