A few years ago we had an idea, a dream and we haven’t stopped thinking about it since…
We are the Mann family. We’ve decided we are going to give up all of our electricity, appliances, smartphones and more. We are going to fully convert our entire home to an Amish homestead. We will trade in our minivan for a horse and buggy. We will empty our closets of modern clothing and replace it all with Amish clothing. For 90 days we will grow our own food, study the Bible, learn some Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch phrases and focus on our family and living a sustainable life. While a technological herd of billions march forward with their lattes in one hand and faces buried in their smartphones, our family of six will stray from the safety of the paved path and instead create our own. Our 90 day Amish journey will start soon (Summer of 2019) and it will be filmed and shared with the world as weekly YouTube videos and afterwards a full length documentary… IF we can get the support of KICKSTARTER backers like you! Our goal is to change the world by living the best lives we can, in harmony with each other, our neighbors and the Earth.
We’ve inspired and taught thousands of people about homesteading with our YouTube videos. Now we are taking it one giant leap further and will try to inspire the world by going Amish for 90 days. We will share our journey in weekly YouTube videos and produce a full length documentary of the entire project. We want to inspire others like we’ve been Inspired by Yes Theory: “We believe that life can be as authentic and fulfilling as you wish if you seek discomfort” we choose to SEEK DISCOMFORT! We’ve also been greatly inspired to live simpler lives by YouTubers OffGrid with Doug and Stacy.
WHY GO AMISH FOR 90 DAYS?
Imagine you wake up one day, you go to the grocery store and the shelves are all empty. The average person wouldn’t be able to survive for a few weeks (and that includes our family). It’s amazing and pathetic that In this day and age, with all of the progress humanity has made, absent someone essentially feeding us (a grocery store or restaurant), most of us would be dead in a matter of weeks if we had to fend for ourselves. But NOT the Amish.
Our Family has a great deal of respect and admiration for the Amish. Almost all of the things wrong with our world today- war, waste, crime, pollution, corruption, materialism, lack of purpose are not at all problems for the Amish. In the eyes of modern man, Amish are stuck in the past, but if more of us lived a similar lifestyle our family is confident the world would be a much better place, a happier place, a cleaner place and a world that could be sustained for the next generation.
Like the Amish, we choose not to focus much on politics unless it’s local. We choose to instead focus our energy on things that we can have an impact on, like improving ourselves, helping our neighbors and strengthening our family. Until we are the best people we can be, why bother focusing on trying to change others?
The non-Amish (including us) are pulling 90 million barrels of oil from the Earth every single day. It feels like we are accelerating faster and faster, producing more and more “stuff” and yet we are not happier or more fulfilled because of it. More and more, people are overworked, stressed and generally unhappy. But not the Amish.
Meanwhile population is exploding and in the coming decades most human jobs will be replaced with robots and artificial intelligence. This monumental shift may not bode well for humans.
Beyond what the future holds for mankind, currently our privacy our freedom, our family time is all being eroded and replaced by technology and materialism. And so to is our purpose in life. My wife and I don’t want to close our eyes and open them up as 90-year-olds, on our death beds having wasted our lives away…. working ourselves to death all while taking more than we gave-back.
We also have four girls (triplets +one). They’ve already grown up in the blink of an eye.
We want our girls to know how to protect and provide for themselves and be prepared for whatever the future may hold good or bad. We want to focus on our family and ourselves and our stake in this world. We want to feed ourselves, grow our own food and be the best people we can be… AND we want to inspire others to do the same.
WHAT WILL YOU DO, EXACTLY?
We will give up all of our electricity and modern technology and convert our home into an Amish Homestead. We will grow our own food. We will get a dairy cow and a horse and buggy. We will get more chickens (we already have a few hens). We will make our own bread and cook over an Amish cook stove. We will learn to speak some Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish). We will study the Bible for 90 days and focus on God and our family. For the first 31 days we will specifically seek wisdom by studying Proverbs each and every day. We will film it all and share a weekly YouTube video (the one and only non-Amish activity we may partake in) and afterwards we will produce a full length documentary.
With the help of this KickStarter Campaign we will fund our conversion to Amish Life. We have been planning this for over 2 years. We’ve befriended a lovely Amish family nearby and will consult with them on many things. We own a 20 acre property and we have some infrastructure in place already including a greenhouse and a garden. We have work to do to convert it to an Amish homestead. We already have chickens and goats… but the Amish have had generations to prepare, so we need to prepare as well.
KickStarter Backers will help us prepare and do the following:
- Help support the making of the documentary “90 Days Amish”, including a new camera, tripod, hard drive and other gear.
- Obtain a Horse and Buggy, to get around in, replacing our mini-van
- Purchase an Amish Cook Stove, for all of our cooking, ironing and heating needs. This will be one of the big expenses and we hope to find one used.
- Purchase a Dairy Cow to make our own milk and cheese
- Purchase hay and other food for the animals
- Finish construction of 2 lean-to shelters for the horse and another for the cow (this is mostly built but needs gates and some fencing)
- Purchase Kerosene lamp lights, to light the house and the pathway to the outhouse
- Purchase some staple items like flour, sugar, canning necessities, seeds, etc. Things that the Amish would have already accumulated or passed down, generation to generation. We have some of this but need more to have a fair start from scratch.
- Purchase Amish items, clothing, cookware, tools.
- Rent a storage unit. At the start of 90 Days Amish, before we turn off our electricity. We will pack up all of our non-Amish things into a moving truck. Our TVs, smartphones, Washer, Dryer, Lawn Mower, Dishwasher our Car, everything electric and all of our modern clothes… We will rent this storage unit for 90 days. At the end of 90 Days we will decide if we want to remain Amish or go back to our old ways!
- One thing not Amish is that our oldest daughter will be filming and photographing our 90 Day Amish Journey. Amish do not want to be photographed so this is our only non-Amish activity. Our oldest daughter will be filming everything. One day a week, for a few hours she will upload all of the footage. She will edit the weekly YouTube video (and Dad may assist as needed). We will have electricity turned on to just one computer and one outlet only… to charge camera batteries. This will ONLY be used for video uploading, editing and charging camera batteries and nothing else. All of the other electricity will be turned off. We will share a weekly YouTube video and at the end of our journey we will produce a feature length documentary DVD. Funds will be used for camera gear and to help get distribution of 90 Days Amish Documentary out to the world. There is the possibility that filming and editing will be handled by a 3rd party (see below) so that we can 100% focus on being Amish for 90 Days.
- *****NOTE- if we are fortunate enough to exceed our budget goal, we plan to contract a videographer to take over filming and uploading duties. We will also use additional funds to go above and beyond to help get the documentary distributed via Distribber (a paid distribution company that works with streaming services like Netflix) and submitted it to both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. After the 90 days is over we plan to hold several weekend workshops to help others visit and tour our homestead and learn how we converted from English to Amish and learn how they can do the same. Additional funds will help with all of these items, including increasing film time/footage during the 60 days leading up to the start of 90 Days Amish and all of the homestead prep, packing, we will be doing just before the actual 90 Day Amish period starts.
HOW WILL THIS HELP OTHERS?
The purpose of life is to have a purpose. Humans are moving towards a society driven almost entirely by technology. A society where most people will likely have less and less purpose. And we fear this is mistake. We choose to not live this way. We reject the idea of circumventing a natural way of surviving for a more complex, convoluted way to provide sustenance. We believe that less is more and we believe that we can inspire others to realize this and live happier, more fulfilling lives. Beyond inspiring others we hope to entertain and share our journey in an open, honest light.
We truly believe that the only way to change the world is to change our own lives. Little changes can have a big impact, especially if those little changes inspire others.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH 90 DAYS AMISH?
We want to inspire others. Do we think everyone will become Amish? NO- although if things collapse, there may be no choice.
We want to study the Bible and focus on God & Family. We want to grow and produce our own food. We want to have an amazing adventure and share it with the world.
We don’t know what will happen. We know that converting to Amish for 90 days will be a huge challenge and an extreme discomfort. Some may follow in our path and others may change their lives by doing some of the things we do while Amish. The world is a volatile place and people as a whole are not living in harmony with each other or with Earth and it is only getting worse. Our goal is to change the world by living the best lives we can, in harmony with each other our neighbors and the Earth. We do hope to inspire others that less is better, time is precious and in life, often times following the herd leads through a boring path where time is wasted and adventure is lost. Navigating a path less traveled is where the true adventure lies.
- Kickstarter Campaign
- *Multiple YouTube Videos & Full length Documentary for each bullet below:
- 90 Day Amish Preparation.This is the 2 months leading up to the start. Installing Amish Cook Stove, getting horse and buggy, learning from our Amish neighbors. overhauling our home to remove TVS, refrigerator, microwaves, iPads, computers, curtains, clothes.
- May 30, 2019. We rent a moving truck and remove all of our appliances, TVs, technology, power tools. Pack up all of the boxes we’ve gathered. Everything goes into a storage rental for 90 days. This will be an exciting time to film and share!
- June 1, 2019… 90 Day Amish Officially Begins. The power is turned off. Modern clothes are replaced with Amish clothes and our Journey begins!
- During the process we will have weekly YouTube episodes. Our goal is to produce a total of 12+ episodes, each 22 minutes in length. Here are some episodes we have in mind and we are open to your ideas.. Please comment and tell us what you want to see.
EPISODE: Pre-90 Day Amish, Planning and Preparing (Starting to box up all of our technology. Remove TVS from walls, PS4, devices and more)
EPISODE: Pre-90 Day Amish, Consultation with our Amish friend for advice, tips, ideas. Visit Amish Buggy Shop for Horse and Buggy (located 12 miles from our home)
EPISODE: Purchase Horse and Buggy and get trained on how to use it from our Amish friend
EPISODE: Moving Day—One day before 90 Days Amish begins. We pack up the moving truck and take all of our modern items to a storage locker. We pay for 90 days upfront. At the end of 90 days we will decide if we want to remain Amish or bring all of our modern items back home.
EPISODE: DAY 1 of 90 Day Amish. The power goes out, the Amish cloths go on and our journey begins
EPISODE IDEA: Taking the Horse and Buggy into town. Going to the Amish store.
EPISODE IDEA: Farm Life, milking the cow, making butter, collecting eggs, starting the greenhouse garden.
EPISODE IDEA: Feeding a family of six. Cooking with our Amish Stove
EPISODE IDEA: Amish Life is Hard… Sharing the difficulties of Amish life and the rewards.
EPISODE IDEA: Amish Hunting. The Amish do hunt & fish for sustenance. We will have meat chickens and eggs- but we’ve never butchered out own meat, until now.
EPISODE IDEA: Weekly Updates on Food/Garden Progress. Eating from our own Garden, meat chickens, eggs and more.
EPISODE IDEA: Final episode at the end of 90 Days we will decide as a family if we want to go back to the storage unit and get all of our technology back or remain Amish.
WE ALSO WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE and we’ll gratefully consider video suggestions up until the 90 day period starts. \
Risks and challenges
Going Amish for 90 Days will be incredibly hard. But we won’t give up and we won’t fail. Our electricity will be off and our modern items will be in storage.
It will be challenging filming the process, but our oldest daughter is taking the reigns. She has filmed hundreds of hours of YouTube videos for our channel and edited many of the videos as well. Also, we have had interest from a small TV production company (they called us about doing an off-grid tv series after seeing our YouTube videos). We are working diligently now to find a production company to film 90 Days Amish on our behalf. Either way it will be well filmed and edited- but if this campaign takes off, we may improve the odds of getting a production crew to manage the filming so we can 100% focus on being Amish.