Friday, March 8, 2019

Visiting Iowa Amish Land by Marie E. Bast

Hello. I’m Marie E. Bast, author of The Amish Baker, and I write Iowa Amish stories, and today I thought I’d give you a short tour of Iowa Amish country by sharing a few of my photos.

This is the Amish bakery that sets out in the country, but it is so much more than that. At one end are numerous shelves full of baked goods and canned fruit and pickles. At the other end is Amish furniture for sale (displayed in the picture below), and in the middle are crafts.

The Amish furniture is lovely, handcrafted pieces.

Their handmade baskets range in all sizes from napkin size to laundry basket size. I bought several.

Iowa Amish farms are lush green land from the heartland. They are well kept and maintained. Notice the picture on the left with the dawdihaus, a white house on the right and the red house in the middle far-back.

 The Amish of Iowa are very private communities, but they are friendly. In the first picture above, the Amish women do run that bakery and the furniture shop, but further down the road is another Amish furniture store but they hire the Englischers to run that. The Amish don't mingle here as much as they do in Indiana and Pennsylvania. The Amish started  moving to Iowa in 1846 to put distance between them and heavy tourism.

Sorry, I made my pictures small, so I hope you can see the large garden that sits in front of that white fence. Iowa has prime farm land great for gardening.

Here are a few Amish horses grazing the lush banks along this farm.

Now I want to introduce you to Elwood that's his real name although the driver usually calls him that in Pennsylvania-Dutch. Elwood is a retired Ohio Amish work horse. The picture doesn't do him justice but he is a larger than normal 2100 pound Percheron horse. Because of their strength, the Percheron horses were used during the middle ages as war horses. Well, I said Elwood was retired, but in truth, he is retired from hard labor, but he still has a job. Elwood resides in Charleston, SC, and he gives buggy rides to tourist in that charming old city. I met Elwood when we took a ride at Christmas time and I set up front. He had a lot of personality and is going to make his way into one of my books.

It was a whirlwind tour, but thank you for coming along.

On March 4, 2019, I received notification that The Amish Baker made the Publishers Weekly Best Seller List. I was both surprised and honored at the same time over the overwhelming response to this book. I want to thank all my readers and supporters for your encouragement in Facebook and Twitter, for your thoughtful letters and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I so very much appreciate that you took the time to do so, and I am deeply humbled and grateful for your support and friendship.

When his son breaks one of baker Sarah Gingerich’s prized possessions, widower Caleb Brenneman insists the boy make amends by doing odd jobs in her bake shop. A childless widow, Sarah can’t help falling for the boy...or his farmer father. But Caleb is progressive New Order Amish while Sarah holds traditional beliefs. Though they’re worlds apart, are they a perfect match?

In The Amish Baker, Sarah Gingerich, who is Old Order, and Caleb Brenneman, who belongs to the New Order, struggle with what their church Ordnung requires and what their hearts want.

Why not order today: 

Whispering words of hope and healing through complex characters and twisting plots, Marie E. Bast enjoys writing contemporary and historical stories. Her first Love Inspired novel, The Amish Baker made the Publishers Weekly Best Seller List. Married for twenty-seven years, Marie and her husband have two grown sons and one daughter. When she’s not writing, she’s walking, golfing, gardening or spending time with her family.

Visit her website or follower her on social media:      Facebook     Twitter     Google     Pinterest     blogspot


  1. Marie, thanks so much for sharing the photos of your visit to Amish country with us. What an amazing insight into a much simpler, thought not always easy way of life.

    1. Thank you, Mary. I like to take pictures of the Amish community, but I don't like to invade their privacy. Have a great day.

  2. What an interesting post! Where in Iowa do the Amish live? I didn't know they were in this part of this country!

    1. The Amish are in 7 counties in Iowa, Washington, Johnson, Buchanan counties to name a few. These counties are south and north of Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Iowa has the largest Amish population West of the Mississippi and they are a wonderful place to visit. Thank you for asking, Roxanne.

  3. Nice post Marie, I love learning new things about the Amish in different settlements. I've always said there is no one Amish way of life.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Patricia. And I agree, each area seems to be a little different.


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