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Amish Refrigerator

 
                              
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A recent topic discussed a cold cabinet to refrigerate foods.Has anyone considered the method used by Amish to refrigerate food?
When the local ponds are frozen, the Amish cut slabs of ice and haul them home and store the slabs in garden shed size buildings which are lined with styrofoam insulation.I think the ice is gathered in one day so the labor is not excessive. The ice is covered with saw dust. They keep  food in these sheds. They can most foods but like ice cream and seem to have it thruout the year so I think the ice lasts a long time. In the summer, a simple fan and vent could provide air conditioning to the living quarters.

I am in Wi. so the a/c need is not as great as southern climes but the ice house method could reduce cooling costs in more northern areas. A few homes were cooled this way in the mid 1800's. Some commercial cooling is done using ice produced in off peak hours so the method does work.
What do you think.
Bob
 
                        
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Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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You'll find a thread on this in the Homesteading forum, in a thread titled "How to build an energy efficient walk in cooler."  What you're describing is an ice house.
 
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Yes, it is an ice house.  I had friends in Alaska who basically did what you describe, although the building was made of wood with a foot of sawdust in the walls for insulation.  And rather than cut slabs of ice, they waited until the winter temperatures were below zero, then filled up the bottom of the ice house with water, let it freeze, and covered it with a heap of sawdust.  It stayed frozen all summer. 

Kathleen
 
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