Ice Harvesting Lives On

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Refrigerators are one of the largest consumers of electricity in the home, by a significant margin. But it wasn’t always this way, and for some it still isn’t. A syndicated article doing the rounds at the moment describes an age old activity, that’s barely hanging in there in our modern times. The practice of ice harvesting involves cutting foot thick (31cm) blocks of ice out of a lake, and transporting them to sawdust insulated ‘icehouses’, where they are kept frozen until the next summer. David White and has his wife, of New Hampshire USA, have opted for an environmentally minimal impact lifestyle, and chose to live without electricity. So each year David participates in the 100 year Rockywold-Deephaven Camp tradition of ice harvesting Squam Lake (see a Quicktime video of this years harvest.) “That's it. Five days of hard work and I'm set for a year.'' Says David. Meaning he now has about 130 cakes of ice, weighing on average 140 lbs (64kg) stored in his custom icehouse. The camp itself harvests over 200 tons of ice to supply their summer camper’s needs. Via the::Miami Herald.The pic is of a plaque prepared by artist Sarah Peters for The Committee to Encourage Public Art depicting ice harvesting, which once provided a livelihood for many farmers who otherwise had limited winter work. It was such big business that blocks of North American lake ice were even shipped to India.

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