My wife and I recently bought an off grid Amish farm and house. We decided to wire it (still waiting for the electric company), add a little additional plumbing, and move in; seeing what non-Amish amenities we could live without before buying things like fridges and septic tanks.
The ice house has 20" of insulation with some hard spray on surface inside of that. The door gets sealed up with great stuff after it is filed with ice each winter. It still has ice that was gathered from the pond from this past January and February. interior space is something like 6' x 6' x 8' with an old fridge set into one side (door of fridge is flush with the inside kitchen wall)
After looking through the archives with a search under "icehouse" i saw some helpful ideas and math stuff.
But i was wondering if i could get some practical help with thinking about some of these things:
1: seems obvious, but the colder the ice is that you put in your ice house,the more potential heat absorption from my food, and the longer it will work. Is this basically right? Is it important that the ice fill the space? Or is airspace between blocks not an issue?
2. I don't have horses like the previous owners. And gathering ice from the pond sounds like a bad job. 2154 gallons would fill the ice house. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on how one might produce and move that much ice efficiently (in this thus-far super mild winter). I have some thoughts below. But feel free to leave any better ideas that I'm not getting at.
3. Is the ground in southern Indiana too warm to optimally freeze water right against it? My instinct is no. Raising 8 tons of water (even in batches) with plenty of surface area above the level of the ground does have its complications. If i could do it that way, i wonder if i could lay a tarp down on the north side of my house with 4" boards under the edges, and then fill it with water some afternoon when the temps are forecasted to be right. Would this plan work better over gravel or clay soil? Is a chainsaw or a spud bar the right tool? Should i plan to punch holes in this tarp?
4. I have some 10 gallon tubrugs brand durable totes. I wonder if i could freeze some of those most or all of the way through, then put them in on the base layer and add in chunks from my ice rink on and around those. Does anyone have some practical advice on how much distance from an edge is too much if the temps are, say 10 degrees overnight for a couple nights?
Bonus: The ice house is built on top of a concrete slab. But the boards under it are getting wet from presumably condensation or a poorly sealed drain hole. Any thoughts about how to improve that situation without tearing it apart?
Luke Groce: Trying to figure out how to grow food and heal land.
My Amish neighbors freeze their blocks using square buckets. They set them up off the ground, they said you have to or the ice doesn't form right--the bottom freezes slower and breaks the bucket. They set them on a trailer or a nursery table, both have metal mesh floors to get good airflow.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
This is just another question, I bought a chest freezer a few weeks ago, while in Jamaica I saw them use it to make ice in poly bags I have tried but the ice freeze from the top and only have water at the bottom any recommendations on getting it the right way
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
Agreed my Amish friends freeze buckets all winter and load those in the icehouse, pack around them with snow or sawdust to insulate them further.
One guy I know does it differently, he has a wood pond like a raised bed that is lined with a tarp, he fills that about a foot thick, freezes it in winter, then opens the wood and cuts it with a chainsaw......I think you can stack it more tightly that way, it's basically a pond near the icehouse. Again he is the only one who dies this so....either he is a genius or a nut....hahahaha