Monthly Archives: January 2015

Ice House at Muster Field Farm

Yesterday, we saw the blocks of ice being hauled off in a truck. They end up here t Muster Field Farm, where they have an old fashion ice house. Blocks are put in here and packed tight with saw dust providing the insulation. They said when they cleaned it out at the end of last season, there was still a layer of ice at the bottom that was still in blocks with slightly rounded edges. They also had some old automobiles that had been retrofitted to be snow machines.

Hauling Ice

Of course once the ice is cut, you have to pull it out of the frigid water and transport it wherever you want it to go. At Muster Field Farm, they use a traditional fulcrum to hoist the blocks and put them on trailers and trucks for transport to the ice house.

Ice Cutting

The first step at the ice harvest was cutting the ice. By the time I arrived, someone had etched a grid on the ice to show where the cuts would be made. This old gas-powered cutter would make one set of cuts and then the cross-cut would be done with the long manually powered saws you see here. They let me try cutting with one of the manual saws which I can only describe in three words “total body workout”. It was a trick to get the pressure and angle right and when I did it engaged my arms, shoulders and thighs. I managed about four or five blocks before being relieved by someone else. It left me pretty much breathless.

Ice Harvest

Ice Harvesting

I visited Sutton, New Hampshire yesterday to witness their annual ice harvest. In the days prior to refrigeration, ice was cut into blocks each winter and stored for use in coolers during the summer. Muster Field Farm, a working farm and rural life museum, uses the ice from this harvest each winter to make ice cream in summer. Over the next few days, I share additional images of the harvest that will give a pretty good idea of how it all worked,

Sutton, New Hampshire

Welcome to Sutton, NH. While today was my first visit to the town proper, I consider it quintessentially New England in flavor, including a pancake breakfast at the local church. More from Sutton tomorrow.