As a devoted Christian and theologian, I take an interest in the farming practices of different religious groups. I was especially intrigued by the Amish after hearing that some of them use artificial means like chemicals on their farms despite their rejection of modern technology. I decided to conduct more research on them and moved to Ohio near their farmlands to learn more about their agricultural practices. Last week, in my online interdenominational forum, one of the members asked whether the Amish prefer organic or conventional agricultural practices. Having lived among them, I had the right answers at my fingertips. So, are Amish organic farmers?
Some Amish are organic farmers, while others are not. Most Amish organic farmers are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, and New York. While the certified organic farmers in the Amish community do not use insecticides, pesticides, or chemicals, most conventional farmers use such products.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we delve into the farming practices of the Amish community. Keep reading to find out whether the Amish use pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, and much more.
Do Amish use pesticides?
Yes. Most Amish that stick to conventional farming use pesticides to control pests in their farms. Using pesticides enables them to improve crop yield and stop the spread of diseases through carriers like rats, mice, and mosquitos.
Using pesticides also enables the Amish to grow more food on their farms and makes removing weeds simple. However, some of the organic Amish farmers try to avoid the use of pesticides and other chemicals.
What do the Amish use for fertilizer?
The Amish mostly rely on livestock manure for fertilization. The use of synthetic fertilizers among this group is limited. While synthetic fertilizer speeds up the growth process of their crops, livestock manure is used to improve the soil quality. Since the Amish try to take care of the Earth based on God’s instructions to man in Genesis 2, they preserve their gardens more naturally.
The Amish community highly values animal manure and uses it to fertilize most of their farms since it is a natural solution for cultivating the soil and makes it more fertile. On the other hand, those who have adopted organic farming within the Amish group use organic fertilizers to enrich the soil. While organic fertilizers are mostly made from organic waste, synthetic ones are made from organic waste material and minerals.
Do the Amish use human waste as fertilizer?
Some Amish use human waste as fertilizers, while others don’t. Using human waste as fertilizer is common among the Old Order Amish. They get human waste from outhouses and then spread it on their crops. Some Old Order Amish have been experiencing issues with the local health officials because of this practice.
However, most Amish communities prefer animal waste to human waste since it is a better fertilizer. They believe that human waste should not be used as fertilizer since it could spread diseases on their farms.
Do the Amish spray chemicals on their crops?
Yes. Like other communities, the Amish sometimes use artificial means, such as spraying chemicals on their crops to improve crop yield. Since their crops are sprayed with chemicals like herbicides and seed treatments, they encourage everyone to wash the vegetables and fruits before consumption for safety reasons. Most Amish farmers do the spraying of chemicals using horse-drawn sprayers.
However, some Amish have found ways to provide their plants with the necessary nutrients without using agri-chemicals. For instance, some use nutritional supplements with ingredients like minerals, humic substances, and seaweed to stimulate plant growth.
Do the Amish use GMOs?
Yes. Most Amish farmers use genetically modified seeds in their fields just like any other conventional farmers. They use horses to plant these seeds. The use of GMOs enables the Amish to maximize profitability since these seeds increase the food supply. They grow longer-season corn varieties that need fewer environmental resources like water and can resist drought.
Some common crops grown in Amish farmlands include oats, alfalfa, beans, and corn. Amish farmers have also adopted nicotine-free tobacco. GMO crops do not conflict with this group’s lifestyle.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.