As gasoline prices have skyrocketed in recent months, a commonplace observation in Pennsylvania has it that the Amish, at least, aren’t affected. With their lack of motor vehicles and no electricity in their homes, many people believe they can carry on happily without worrying about the inflation of fuel costs. But the York (PA) Daily Record pointed out last week that the whole idea of Amish isolation from fuel prices is a myth.
Their reporter interviewed an Amish farmer along a rural road who complained about the high price–$3.97 per gallon at the time. A nearby farmer was using four horses to pull a mower, which was powered by a gasoline engine. The cost of each gallon of gas evidently affects them as much as it does the rest of the nation. The farmer mentioned that the rising price of fuel has produced an increase in the cost of fertilizer, which they use as much as other farmers.
Another Amish man farther down the road, loading a couple five gallon gas cans into his buggy, told the reporter that his family uses nearly 10 gallons of fuel each week for their compressor, which he said was not too much. The reporter didn’t mention that, in addition to the engines that power farm machinery (pulled, of course, by teams of horses) and compressors, many Amish have gas or diesel powered generators for their farms and businesses. In sum, the idea that they are isolated from fuel price increases is simply incorrect.