They are not Amish, but the Douglass family lives a lot like the Amish do. For instance, cutting huge chunks of ice out of a nearby pond is just another Winter chore that allows the family of six to live off the grid of electricity and oil consumption.
Instead of using a refrigerator, which is one of the largest users of energy in the home, this method of storing the ice in a sawdust bunker keeps their food chilly all summer long. This enables them to have refrigeration at no cost at all to the Douglass family and their Amish neighbors, who share the homestead.
All day on Saturday, from 9 a.m. on, interested people can spend time on a completely off-the-grid, non-electric homestead, that uses horses and human power as well as a water-pumping windmill, and learn more about the time-honored skill of hand-cutting ice from a pond for a root cellar or icebox storage.
If the weather is not agreeable for this free work party event it may be postponed, but anyone who signs up will receive the rain date information.
This is a family-friendly event and all ages, skill levels and abilities are welcome to participate. Bring a bag lunch if you like, though homemade soup will be provided.
If you wish to learn the skill of hand-sawing, retrieval, and proper storage it is best if you can commit to the full day, but not necessary. Appropriately dress for the weather and rugged, working conditions is suggested.
This event is near Canton, and is free and open to the public. An RSVP is necessary for the exact address. To register please email SustLivingProject@gmail.com or call 315-347-4223 and note the attendee names, home and cell numbers and email contact information.
Confirmation and location will generally be sent within 24 hours. Look for more fun and educational upcoming events in the Spring line-up of Rural Skills Workshops from the Local Living Venture at www.SustainableLivingProject.net and at the upcoming Local Living Festival on April 27.