Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wide Open Spaces ....

October 2 - Tuesday, two and a half hours from Billings Montana. Let me tell you, this is the absolute most desolate place I have ever seen in my life!! We drove for miles and miles and this is the view we enjoyed. Every once in awhile a house would appear ... I was instantly reminded of the book "Little House on the Prairie." That was all you could see, a house on a huge, vast prairie. No trees, no lawn, not even a bush. God has created an amazing earth with so many places for us to inhabit, and lifestyle to choose. So join me as I share with you my visit with the Spring Creek Hutterite Colony.

We left Buffalo Wy. at 7:00 am and arrived at the Spring Creek Colony at 12:30 am. A very long drive in a very vast state!
Upon our arrival we were greeted by Mary Walter (on the right) she was so delightful. She served us a hearty lunch of fall off the bone chicken, fried potatoes, beets, pickles, fresh out of the oven bread, and fresh canned peaches with a warm sweet sauce. After a meal like that we all needed a nap!! But oh no, Mary had other plans. Also in the picture is Katey, she is 86 years young and is Mary's mother in law. In the middle is my friend Amy, she's not a Hutterite!! Note, Mary's head covering can come down inside a dwelling but her head must be covered outside at all times.

A brief history of the Hutterites. They originally migrated to America from Canada, and even today they are governed by Canadian Hutterite Elders. The Spring Creek Colony consists of 14 families, 49 residents with 7 of those being school aged children. The children are educated at the colony by a German teacher. They are fluent in both the English and German languages and only speak German within the colony. However, they are not immigrants of just Germany. Katie's ancestry was Russian while Mary's was Chec and German. All monies earned from eggs, cattle, hogs, corn etc. are placed in a communal fund for living expenses. However, using Mary as an example they are allowed to earn their own monies. Mary picks Chokecherries and other berries to make jams, jellies and syrups which she cans and sells. She also goes to the creek and collects 1000's of grub worms and sells them to the fishermen! With the sale of these worm she as put one of her children entirely through college!!! The Hutterites use electricity, believe in higher education and vote in political elections. This group is vastly different then the Amish. The next group of pictures are of their communal kitchen area and their colony grounds.

This well loved and well cared for barn was built in the late 1800's ... it is still a functioning, hard working barn today.

Here are the ladies coming in for their afternoon milking. These poor things were walkin slow with their utters engorged with milk. The little dog in the bottom right corner was leading them in ... he was just too cute!
Mary is explaining to Amy how things are run at the colony. Like me she likes to use her hands to tell a story!!

Chickens!! Here's the girls ... I can still smell that horrid chicken coop smell. Oh pew ewww! This was uncomfortable for me on many levels. The stench, and the fact that there were 4 hens per cage stepping on each other and feathers were missing off the hens. I prefer free range eggs for this very reason. I just think it's inhumane.

Now, the communal kitchen! This place is HIGH tek and HUGE!
 This is my new Kitchen Aid!! Yep, I can mix up anything you want for as many people as you want.


 This is the bakery ... the room on the left is an oven, you can really bake a lot of bread in there at one time! The piece in the center is also an oven and the far right is the bread slicer. The floors and every nook and crannie was spotless and sparkling. You could eat off of these floors. No kidding!

 Yep, this is a giant potato, they grow their own at the colony. Bags and bags of huge potatos. Mary is standing inside their pantry, look next to her head on the left, there are rows and rows of canned fruits and on the right side is canned vegetables. The colony is totally self contained. If they don't grow it or raise it, they don't have it.

A bigger view of the pantry. Corn and tomatoes line the top shelves. Next to this room was a huge freezer full of breads, pastries and various foods. Next to it was a huge freezer filled to the gills with meats. Everything is butchered and packaged at the colony by the women. Oh how I would hate that job....
Our visit with the Hutterites was wonderful and so enlightening. I learned so many things that day and about and entire new culture of people.
Tomorrw .... Ohio .... 

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