Sunday, October 12, 2003

Hurricane Isabel Drives Amish Farmers to Use Modern Machinery: "The hurricane tore up cornfields and the Amish method of harvesting. Horse-drawn wagons and gas-powered corn binders had no chance of navigating the fields, and farmers needed a quick way to pull the corn off the downed stalks before the crop grew moldy.

"Local bishops gave their blessing for the one-time use of modern-day heavy farm machinery. So for the past few weeks, contractors operating corn harvesters from as far away as Maryland have worked the Amish cornfields in central Pennsylvania, saving what nearly became a ruined season.

"Jake Lang, an Amish volunteer helping to coordinate the effort, called the temporary break with tradition 'a call of mercy.'"

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