Southern Breeze Ranch

Southern Breeze Ranch in Archer, Florida by Sarah Price

Recently, my husband acquired a piece of property adjacent to our farm in Alachua County. In just a few short weeks, we will begin decorating the small house and begin offering it for rent via AirBnB.

And herein lies the problem. I’d love to recreate an Amish house. How much fun would that be? I can envision it now:

Kerosene lanterns
Old fashion stove (run by propane)
Small fridge (also run by propane)
Quilts on the beds
Simple furniture
Simple decoration

My husband, however, feels otherwise.

“What about in the summer?”

I gave him a blank stare. “What about it?”

“It’s Florida. No one will want to stay in a house without air conditioning.”

Ugh. I had forgotten about that. Amish folks don’t have air conditioning. They rely on open windows and drawn window shades to keep the inside of the house dark and cool. Children will sleep on porches or even the basement in order to escape the heat on the second floor while most parents have first floor master bedrooms. Surely any guests would not want to sleep outside (and there is no basement). OK, so we leave the air conditioner plugged in.

“And winters get chilly, too. You need to have heat. For all of the rooms.”

Sometimes I wonder why I married such a pragmatic man! Amish do have heat, usually propane generated or a wood burning stove. Some now use those pellet stoves. Unfortunately, in the older farm houses, that tends to only heat the kitchen and gathering room. Bedrooms remain unheated and chilly…even downright cold. But Marc is right. I need to heat the entire house, no matter how small.

“Kerosene lanterns are dangerous,” he continued, bursting just one more bubble. “Fire hazard.”

Scratch that off my list.

You get the general idea. It’s amazing how so many of us simply adore the Amish lifestyle but, when push comes to shove, very few of us (myself included) really understand the sacrifices we’d have to make in order to actually live like the Amish. Given that we are not in an Amish community, my husband is probably correct. Few people would want to stay here and live off the grid without the comforts of home: electricity, heat, Internet, air conditioning. So POOF! there went my dream to recreate an Amish home.

Perhaps one day I might reconsider. But for now, I’ll stick to Englische decorating.

Hugs and blessings,

Sarah P.


Sarah Price is the author of the Plain Fame series and the Amish of Ephrata series, among other books. She comes from a long line of devout Mennonites, and her writing reflects accurate and authentic stories based upon her own experiences with several Amish communities. Visit her at sarahpriceauthor.com and on Facebook.


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5 thoughts on “Southern Breeze Ranch in Archer, Florida by Sarah Price

  1. Sarah, I grew up in these conditions in Ireland. I’d certainly have a go at an Amish B&B. It would be like a step back in time for me. Also where I live now, whenever there’s a storm, we loose electricity, so it’s back to the old days for us. You can manage anything if you try hard enough.
    Good luck with the B&B.

  2. I have stayed in Amish homes but that was in Ohio and Pennsylvania a different climate than Florida. I would still decorate with Amish quilts and pictures and oil lamps and books. My guest bedroom has Amish touches like the quilt and pictures and books. Your guests would still get a feeling of their lifestyle.

  3. I lot of people stay in the Amish B&B’s all the time, knowing they don’t use modern conveniences. Thankfully, you don’t have to use an outhouse anymore. I’d check more into it myself. Florida is so very hot and I live (thankfully) near the sea breezes but due to allergies, can’t open my windows (in an apartment not near the beach). It’s a must to have screens in those windows and Fans inside too.

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