Inside the Amish World

Eye-opening photographs offer a rare glimpse at the usually off-limits religious community

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With beard-cutting attacks and a reality TV hit about breaking the faith, the Amish have been painted in a negative light recently.

But an eye-opening collection of photographs has captured a thoroughly unbroken example of what it means to belong to the intriguing religious community. 

Photographer Lottie Hedley visited the Hilty family on Smyrna Mills, northern Maine, near the Canadian border and her series ‘Unbroken’ shows Milo and Velma and their family of five hard at work sustainably and organically farming their 20 acres of land.

The Hilty’s moved to what was an abandoned dairy farm in 1996, when it was covered in wild strawberries and paint-brush. Now the productive soil gives them a bumper crop of vegetables, which they sell locally and at towns including Bangor and Rockport.

‘The Hilty’s are down-to-earth folks,’ Hedley explains on her website. ‘In the spring they are down on their knees literally: hands deep in the soil planting seedlings in the soft, mellow earth. 

‘Following the summer’s rigorous growth and the aging of autumn is the breather offered by winter when a deep blanket of snow covers the sleeping earth in Smyrna Mills.’

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