I get wild hairs sometimes. It is usually not a big deal but when I get into something, sometimes I jump in with both feet. Honestly, most times I jump with both feet. Plans are nice for people who like to plan, but I often just go for it. I posted a few weeks ago about the Chattanooga Plow Company cane mill I got to make sorghum. In response to that post, a gentleman in Minnesota contacted me about a mill he had inherited from his grandfather…in Minnesota. That’s probably a little far north for sorghum and definitely too far north for sugar cane. He wasn’t sure why it ended up in his grandfather’s barn but he wanted to find it a new home where it would be used as it was intended.
We emailed back and forth for quite awhile. I considered driving to Minnesota to pick it up but that seemed like more than I wanted to bite off. I checked around for shipping costs but since it was so heavy and the weight was concentrated into such a small package, the prices were insane. The highest price I saw was $2300.
I really wanted this mill though. It is sort of cool to add to the collection because it was made by Deere & Mansur. That company became John Deere of course. What makes that fun in my book is that International Harvester which made the other mill (by buying Chattanooga Plow Company), got into the plow business when it appeared that Deere was going to branch from the plow business into the harvester business. I do not know the exact dates but these two cane mills would have been contemporaries and competitors.
Anyhow, awhile back I flipped the tv to watch Shipping Wars. It’s a program following small shippers who bid on parcels that need delivered. The idea is I put a bid request for delivery of my cane mill and small (and some large) shippers bid on it. Bids go lower of course so I make out better and can choose the lowest/best bidder. On the show, they follow a few very colorful shippers, most of whom have a van or small truck where they pick up several packages and bid on additional deliveries along their route.
So, I signed up and a nice couple from WV happened to be in Minnesota and were heading through WV on their way to FL (or something like that). They bid on my delivery and it worked out beautifully. They called me often with status updates and I could track their progress with the website that manages all of this. I guess not everyone has great luck but my shipping battle was a done deal! I received the mill and have plans to fix it up and use it along with the bigger mill. Honestly, I am at the edge of giddy about having these cool and historic pieces of farm equipment in my possession. Emily may be less excited but she surely is a tolerant and kind woman!