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Not exactly hidden from locals but if you have not already heard, lower Michigan and Indiana has a large population of Amish settlement.  For more information on Amish religion and lifestyles please refer to this informative website here.  My hometown is within an hour from ‘Amish Country’ so I have grown up with this type of lifestyle which is quite different than others.  It can be very restrictive on modernization which can be good and bad.  For this reason, Amish tend to have art skills that many of us could never imagine in today’s society such as quilting and woodworking.  Many people in Michigan will travel down to a place called Shipshewana, Indiana to purchase homemade food, crafts and entertain in the simple lifestyle.  It’s a great day or even weekend away from the modern world.  Here are a few photos from our recent trip:

There are a lot of things to do down in Shipshewana but you must first get information online or ask others since it’s not clearly marked until you get to your destination. This was one of our destinations today. This is a flea market- not 100% Amish goods. The best part is the area is surrounded by a farmer’s market – chemical and GMO free!

The Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery in Shipshewana, Indiana. This is a large restaurant that mainly serves family-style (large bowls of food to your table and everyone dishes up onto personal plates). Not vegan friendly!

The Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery in Shipshewana, Indiana. Love the flowers outside in the summer months. When younger, we had fun sitting outside of this restaurant on the porch (although much smaller then) and rocking in the chairs. It’s very peaceful.

Shipshewana, Indiana #Indiana #Shipshewana #Amish

Going right into the area of the farmers’ market/flea market was a large selection of Amish farmers. This is like a dream land. Everything is supposed to be GMO and chemical free so you are safe to eat just about everything. There are also baked goods but 99% of the items are not vegan (most Amish will not know what you are talking about when saying vegan). It’s getting to the end of summer in Northern USA so mums are really coming into bloom as seen here.

My favorite mums I’ve seen this year. It looks like snow with a hint of purple around the edges. The stone in the center was something else they were selling – name plates I think for a garden. It almost looked like a tombstone at first but I assure you it was not.

Homemade Ice Cream being made at the Flea Market (not vegan). The two buckets to the right hold the finished ice cream that is sold in the truck right next to it. Talk about fresh! Too bad it wasn’t vegan 😦

It had looked like rain the entire day (hot and muggy too) but finally after about an hour there the storms came through. We decided it was time to go to the ‘mall’.  Looks at all the seagulls – so cute!

Grain elevator – manufactures grains here for consumption by humans.  So this is the type of building one would see to get flour or cornmeal.

Davis Merchantile “Shipshewana Mall”. Burnt down a few years ago and now has been rebuilt by hand with no nails and all wood. Shipshewana, Indiana. There are a few shops inside this ‘mall’ and also a coffee shop & Jo Jo’s Famous Pretzel cafe.

Inside the cafe area of the Mercantile. You can tell there are no nails used in the entire construction.

German tradition since we value the companionship more than the food and you know how we love our food! Love this phrase since it reminds me of my family. No business talk at the table, just fun conversation and great food. Sometimes I have to remind myself we have to slow down so we can enjoy the people around us. All people in our lives are blessings.

This is a must if you visit – the pretzels are handmade and can be made vegan (aka without butter upon request). The dough take a week or two before being made into pretzels.

Jo Jo’s Pretzels (can be made vegan- ask for no butter). You might have to wait a bit longer so the pretzels bakes in the oven but it’s worth it. This is a whole wheat pretzel but they also serve white flour too.

Some more shops on the main street in Shipshewana, Indiana. These are all mom and pop stores that cater to many different type so people. Unfortunately many things are not handmade anymore but it is fun to look at all the different things. There are a few places that sell handmade things such as pottery and paintings but for the most part not. The shops are on the bottom and the families live on the top floors. Most are not Amish.

A closer look at one of the stores – they are traditional houses that have been transformed on the bottom to use as shops.

Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market
345 S Van Buren St, Shipshewana, IN 46565

We had such a wonderful time in Shipshewana, Indiana.  It has been quite some time since our last visit that our eyes were opened to new things happening in the area.  It’s so much fun going to a place one hasn’t been in years, everything changes.  Anyone been to Shipshewana before?