While you might associate Amish and Mennonite communities with the Midwest, Sarasota has its own flourishing Amish population. Pinecraft – located near the intersections of Bahia Vista and Beneva – has a population of 3,000 strong Amish and Mennonites. And that doesn’t include the folks that come down to spend time during the winter.
The Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota began as a tourist camp. By the 1940s, the camps were giving way to permanent residences. One of the differences between life in Pinecraft and life in most Amish communities is that most homes are wired for electricity. And then there’s the fact that motorized adult tricycles are the preferred mode of transportation. Horses and buggies are just not practical on the streets of Sarasota.
For people outside the Pinecraft community, Yoder’s and Der Dutchman restaurants offer authentic Amish cooking at a reasonable price. Make sure to save room for a piece of homemade pie.
Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at http://nanettesnewlife.blogspot.com.