Harvesting the year's coldest crop

This winter's cold temperatures made a Catskills tradition possible last Saturday at the Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith: the annual ice harvest. Eight solid inches of ice on Hanford's mill pond was plenty sturdy enough for volunteers and visitors to cut and lift onto wooden sledges with medieval-looking ice tongs.

Before the advent of refrigeration, the ice harvested in the winter and stored in an ice house was the only source of coolness and ice cream in the summer. Hanford Mills will be making ice cream with this year's harvest on the Fourth of July. 

Hamden videographer Jessica Vecchione made a short video of this year's February 2 harvest -- check it out above.