Following the recent post on ice cutting in Amish Iowa, reader Neil Shattuck shares a look at an ice harvest in New York.
You may have wondered, how long does the ice last? You’ll find that answer and other details below. The following are Neil’s photos and comments on what we’re seeing:
These photos were shot January 18 in the Jasper/Troupsburg, NY community.
They are of a single family group of 3 brothers, and other family members filling the ice houses for the coming year. They cut enough ice for the three families that afternoon.
The sled they used was of freshly cut timber sawn at the family sawmill.
At noon the ladies of the family brought out coffee and cookies to fuel the boys up to finish up in the afternoon.
When cutting the ice, the process involved cutting long lengths of 18″ wide ice from a spring fed farm pond with a gaw powered circular saw on a cart.
These were grabbed with ice tongs and pulled up onto the ice where they would proceed to cut the lengths into square blocks with a chain saw and stacked onto the wagon and off to the ice houses it goes.
The boys worked very efficiently together with every step taken to quicken the job.
When the ice is stacked in the icehouse they would pack snow in between the blocks to fill voids. They told me this ice would normally last them to about mid-October 2018.
Ice harvesting is just one winter task done by (some) Amish.
If you’ve ever wondered about how Amish handle cold weather, do other winter chores, cold-weather recreation, staying warm in schools and buggies, and other topics, we’ll have a post upcoming answering those questions, with input from an Amish-raised woman. So stay tuned!
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