Oh, the Amish. The last people on Earth untouched by the scourge of high gas prices. That horse-drawn lifestyle must make for easy living in times such as these.

Nonsense. The idea that the Amish don't notice the price at the pump is a fable for tourists and Sunday drivers.

Just ask the Amish.

"It's getting high," one Amish farmer said as he took a break from working in an alfalfa field in Lower Chanceford Township. The farmer would not give his name.

"I hope the price comes down soon," he said.

The price of gas? From a bearded man sitting on a tractor pulled by two horses?

As the man spoke, the sputtering hum of a gas engine sounded in the field behind him. Another farmer led a team of horses. They dragged a tractor with a gas-powered engine that mowed a 4-foot-wide stretch of alfalfa.

The Amish can operate gas engines, as long as they don't propel a vehicle, the farmer by the road said. That $3.97-a-gallon gas costs him the same as you.

Then, the farmer said, there's the cost of fertilizer. That's up because of the price of oil. It hasn't hit him too bad, the farmer said, because he bought last year at lower prices. But, he said, he'll have to pay it eventually.

Farther down the road, Emanuel Beiler loaded a pair of plastic 5-gallon gas tanks into his buggy outside the Shady Valley Bakery. His family goes through about 10 gallons a week to run a compressor, he said.

"I don't use that much," Beiler said.


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"It's not like it's a car. . . . It costs more, but not too much."

GAS PRICES

Type         York   National
Regular   $3.97   $4.07
Premium   $4.37     $4.47
Diesel      $4.85   $4.77
 
-- Source: AAA