This is for those who do not know about this Amish nursery in Medina, NY.
It offers a lot of fruit trees varieties at a goog price. An apple tree is $15/tree (heirloom variety is $18). There are about 30 heirllom varieties in its 2015 catalog. It offers disease and pest control supplies, too.
The downside is that it does not have a website. You have to call for a catalog and mail in your paper order. The phone # is 585 798-6198 and address is 2784 Murdock Road, Medina, NY 14103.
I ordered from it a few times. They are honest people. When I overpaid, they sent me the difference. When I underpaid, they sent me the trees with a note. I sent back a check.
I just ordered a Roxbury Russet, a late Fuji (nagafu) on Bud 9 and tree guards from it. This is an ordering season. This would be another good nursery option for you.
In general, Amish businesses tend to emphasize an honest and fair priced approach. They are similar to the Quakers who originally invited them to this country. The Quakers inspired the shift in early America from bartering to selling goods for a set price. If you set a fair price, there is nothing to haggle over.
Although my one little experience with Schlabach’s was fine, my general impression of the Amish, based on a fair amount of interaction with a community near here, is the opposite of yours, Alan. I feel like the Amish generally are more apt to take care of themselves, particularly financially, at the expense of the people they sell to and do business with. I don’t think of the Amish as dishonest, but I’m especially wary of trusting them with unknowns (e.g. trusting them to charge a reasonable amount for shipping and handling without knowing exactly what it is.) The Amish sure seem to play up their image for everything its worth. For instance, there’s an Amish jelly factory near me, and most of their customers think the fruit for their jellies is grown organically in the community, and I think they’ve fostered this image (without outright lying), but they buy conventional frozen fruit from out West for their jellies. Maybe the community near me is atypical, but I don’t necessarily think so, and I definitely believe that most products labelled Amish aren’t what most customers assume they are because the products are Amish.
We are probably both speaking in broad generalizations based on relatively small anecdotal sample. I will retract my statement as it is a kind of sugar bigotry.
I was raised a Quaker and have positive feelings about the Amish that have been enforced by every interaction I’ve had with them- but people are people and stereotyping is misleading and can even be dangerous
However, some cultures celebrate celebrity, prestige, wealth and power above all. This does not describe Amish culture.
Fair points, Alan. My own anecdotal sample isn’t really even so bad. I’ve mostly had very good dealings with the Amish families I know personally.
Talking about the Amish reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend just a few days ago. (He’s not Amish.) He started selling you-pick strawberries for the first time this year. He’s also growing some carving pumpkins and some popcorn and maybe flowers to sell as cut flowers. He has a very small plot – as best as I can remember from when I was there last winter only about 4-6 rows of strawberries maybe 200’ long – as a sideline to working full-time for Dow Chemical in their agricultural division, and he’s definitely not growing organically, and he doesn’t say anything to suggest he is, although, of course, he doesn’t make a point of advertising that he’s not. Anyways, he has a facebook page to advertise his farm, and he told me recently that one of his customers had posted on his facebook page how great the strawberries were and how great it is to know her children are eating fruit grown organically, without any chemicals, etc. I’d guess she just assumed they were organic because she doesn’t really know anything about farming, and this is a friendly family with nice smiles and sweet children, etc., and she assumes farmers that use chemicals would look like evil villains. So my friend mentioned this to me in a conversation about the challenges of facebook advertising. Do you publicly correct a customer on your facebook page that’s just saying nice things? He didn’t, and I don’t blame him. That’s not his place, and I think it’s probably fair just to let that comment slide without drawing further attention to it. But some people, by no fault of their own – maybe just because they have nice smiles and sweet children – draw more of these kind of false customer assumptions than others.
It’s not the fault of the Amish that people so often make false assumptions about the Amish, as if people weren’t people, or as if their products or services were somehow different because they don’t drive cars and wear old-fashioned looking outfits. It does bother me when some Amish play to these kinds of foolish assumptions, and it seems pretty common. Is “Amish cheese” or “Amish jelly,” etc. any different than any other cheese or jelly? Why label it as such, put the silhouette of the horse and buggy on the label, etc.?
An Amish acquaintance even expressed a similar sentiment to me about another Amish guy in the community that sells peaches. This acquaintance grows most of his fruit organically (but doesn’t really sell any), and he noted how silly it was that the peach grower’s customers assumed he was organic, when in fact, he said, this particular grower was over-the-top trigger-happy with the spray gun. I don’t know of anything this particular peach grower does to foster false assumptions other than just wear the clothes he wears every day to the farmers market, and he shouldn’t be faulted for that, but I think it does go to show that people are especially inclined to give the Amish special credit that’s totally unwarranted. And a notable percentage of Amish people do play to it.
I just want to mention Schlabach nursery as another good nusery to order from. They carry a lot of varieties. I have positive experience buying trees from them.
When my plum tree arrived with one side of the root missing, I called to let him know I was worried how well it would grow. He sent me a replacement tree and told me to planted the original one, too. Both have grown well.
No question asked. No need to send proof. He trusts you at your words. I like the way they do business.
This is stereotyping as well, IMO. It would be smoother swallowing if it was modified at least to “a notable percentage seem to play it”.
That the Amish engage in the same kinds of sales tactics as the rest of us is hardly noteworthy. The quality of goods at Amish grocery stores I’ve been to certainly tend to be higher than what is available at the local A+P. If the motives are as much about business as virtue I don’t really know or care.
On the subject of customer assumptions, I experience it all the time. I wear antique Swedish military pants with suspenders because they are superior equipment for the jobs I do than anything produced in a Chinese factory. I also wear wide brimmed hats.
The look seems to suggest Amish integrity to folks and I’m happy to use that as PR- as well as advertising my Quaker background. But the fact is that I do have a lot more integrity than many landscape contractors around here and I want to get any business advantage out of it that that I can. Lord knows, it has its disadvantages to be honest.
Many of my customers assume I’m using organic pesticides as well. When they suggest this I correct them and try to educate them on the issues. Anyone that wants an organic program is welcome to it, but almost always, when I explain, they want to continue with my program.
The funny thing is that the very next year they may be back to assuming their fruit is organic. I’ve had to correct people several times.
Not really related to fruit growing, but an interesting topic nonetheless. Both of you have made very good points and you are both spot on correct imo on your assertions.
The Amish (as a group) absolutely do use their image…and their image is without question greater than reality. They have reputations among themselves just like any of the rest of us do…the cheat, the lazy-bones, the bs’er , the half-asser and so forth.
In general though, I do agree with Alan, the majority of them really are more honest and do far better work than their non-Amish counterparts. I find them easy to talk with and be around, and for whatever reason, I think they feel the same about me as an Englishman. Maybe because I have unusual Englishman interests, ones that are more like their own. It probably doesn’t hurt that I do not dress flashy, have a beard and am sometimes told I look like an Amishman.
The Amish furniture industry is a prime example of Cousinfloyd’s point I think. Most folks I think imagine a bunch of Amish craftsman with hand planes and chisels working in a hollowed out barn building this stuff. The reality is that it is produced in a very large (in at least one case I know of) factory using modern electric machinery. No hand planes or hand powered drills etc involved at all. Modern manufacturing in every single way.
That Heat Surge electric heater advertised on TV is a prime example.
I have no doubt the cheese etc is produced in the same or similar way.
FWIW, I don’t really blame them for using this false image either.
I agree. Once you know the “real” Amish community, you realize if you’re not part, you’re getting hosed. Most fruit trees I bought from Amish had bad disease, poor graft issues or just flat out mislabeled. I’ll trust the Cummins and Adams County Nurseries of the world before I make that mistake again.
I have purchased trees from Schlabach’s Nursery yearly since 2006. I have always been impressed with their service and products. I highly recommend David Schlabach’s book BACKYARD FRUIT PRODUCTION for every backyard grower. I have visited his nursery and he and his family are the real deal.
I have bought from Schlabachs and i will say that the trees were delivered in great shape, and healthy. The only issue i has was the ellis bitter i bought had 2 leaders, and i had to chose 1. Thats hardly an issue.
I live in the heart of Amish Country in WNY, and i would not hesitate to buy from most of the amish. Over the years, i have learned which Amish to do business with and which ones to pass on. I have a guy that i go to for stainless work, one for metal fabrication, one for sawing logs and lumber sales, and so on. The guys with respectable businesses didnt get there by being shady or dishonest.
Schlabachs is one of the good ones. Many amish greenhouses buy bareroot trees from them and resell them to Englishman, as potted trees. These trees are usually in good condition, unless they are hold overs from the previous year.
last year the trees were large bare root, most of mine filled out either a 5 or 6 foot box I forget. a few smaller like 3 foot whips. caliper from 3/8" to 3/4". very high quality and I think 100% survival
I’ll second the request for a catalog order page scan like I put up last year, I didn’t get a catalog this year. mostly interested in the early peach varieties that were missing last year
I also get their catalog and regret that they don’t ship to California, especially given the price inflation we’re seeing from other nurseries. The required plant inspections and quarantines must be too costly for a small operation to bear. Are there any small fruit tree nurseries that have figured out a way to sell into California and other protective states?