Amish Refrigeration

By Tobin Dimmitt

 

      

 

Some Amish families have gas operated refrigeration, but that is rare. Keeping fresh produce, dairy products and eggs cool is generally handled the old-fashioned way, meaning with large blocks of ice.

 

The ice is harvested by hand when ponds and lakes are frozen in the winter, and stored with sawdust shavings between layers in underground or partially buried storage buildings.

 

An entire community has access to the ice house in order to get ice whenever needed. In the basement or root cellar of each home, concrete blocks house the block of ice and form a rudimentary ice chest for food storage.

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