We’ve been living with vacationing Amish in Florida since the beginning of January.

The three of us were brought here upon request by several members of the community to serve as the bridge between Pinecraft and Sarasota county officials. We’ve written an updated master plan, which will help preserve this community of Amish and Mennonites that has been here since the 1920s.

Today we would like to address some FAQ we received about Pinecraft:

Q:  Do you know many people there?

A:  The “Mennonite Game” is different from the “Amish Game.” People often ask what Emma Ruth’s last name is. Niles cannot be both a Graber and a Miller—the only time those two names have been listed together before in Pinecraft is at the intersection of Graber Ave and Miller Ave. Hans lives in Lancaster county, Niles grew up in Goshen, and I have been to the Q Mart in Quakertown, PA. That’s how we begin most connections.

Q:  What’s so great about Pinecraft?

A:  There are no “fences” here. This is something that we have heard time and time again as we ask community members to tell us what makes Pinecraft so special. Unlike Amish communities in the north, Pinecraft is a vacation destination for families ranging from the most conservative Amish to the most progressive, a rare mix especially as everyone packs into a church building on Sundays. We live on the same block as families from many states, all getting along based on basic Anabaptist values.

Q:  Are you going to buy some property there?

A:  While we have been fortunate to be provided with housing during our time here, being a property owner in Pinecraft would prove to be pricey. Even the small 40×40 lots that made up the original part of Pinecraft in the 1920s are sold for $250,000 or more, regardless of the quality of house. So when we say that people here love Pinecraft, we mean it.

Q:  Which is better: Yoder’s or Der Dutchman?

A:  There are two Amish-themed restaurants in Pinecraft, both of which we have been lucky enough to eat at every day, thanks to the generous owners of both places. Stay tuned for our TripAdvisor reviews we write after 3 months of trying almost every menu item, but in the meantime know that we would highly recommend both places. Highlights include the premium wait staff, the delicious orange/grapefruit juice, Yoders’ omelets, and the salmon at Der Dutchman.

Q:  So have you gained weight?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Has Emma found an Amish boy?

A:  Not yet, but Hans and Niles are pushing for it.

Hans Weaver and Niles Graber Miller contributed to this report.


For more information on the details involved, see our website: www.pinecraft.weebly.com