As forecasted, Howell Farm was able to harvest ice off of Belle Mountain Pond. The pond was measured last week at four inches of clear ice. However, the recent snowfall blanketed the snow and the above freezing temperatures began to soften the ice although the thickness remained the same. Howell Farm’s staff, newest intern Annie Hasz, and several young volunteers joined in for the first Howell Farm ice harvest this winter.
A section of the ice was cleared of snow, scored with an ice plow, and then sawed into even rectangles with circa 1900 ice saws. Other staff and several young volunteers grabbed pikes to slide the cut ice to the banks where it was loaded up on a wagon via a ramp and ice tongs.
A total of three ton of ice was hauled off the pond and unloaded into Howell Farm’s ice house. This early harvest will supplement the harvest scheduled for January 29, when Howell Farm welcomes visitors to join them in reliving the essential winter harvest of the turn-of-the-last-century.