Earlier in the spring I bought a cane mill to press sorghum stalks into sorghum syrup. After that one, I bought another (click for “before” pics). When it was time, I planted sorghum seeds and proceeded to do nothing at all related to the cane mill until the last 2 weeks when I have been working furiously to break down the second cane mill (it’s smaller) and fix it up so it will actually be capable to pressing sorghum cane! I decided on John Deere green and yellow since this is ultimately a Deere-made mill…clever, eh? I also decided to paint the inside of the mill as well as the rollers. Some folks don’t do that but mine were already painted before I got it and modern paint, when dry, is inert so shouldn’t be a food hazard. I will probably do more research and, if necessary, sand blast the paint if I decide it is a problem.
Anyhow, you see, like everything, time flies and the sorghum was just doing what sorghum does…grow! It grew and grew and it seemed like I had plenty of time to get the mill ready. Here it is almost October and I am not yet ready! Sorghum is apparently ruined if the stalks are frozen so I have a fairly short window of time left to harvest. Fortunately, the mill is apart and I was able to run a grinder over a bunch on it to remove rust, dirt, etc.
All in all, I think it is shaping up very nicely. These pieces each weigh quite a bit (the entire piece weighing somewhere between 400 and 600 pounds…I don’t have a scale that big and there is little info on this model. I guess I could weight the individual pieces but it doesn’t really matter) so it takes a good bit of work to manipulate them and hold them just right while I run the grinder. Still, I think the pieces are turning out beautifully. Of course, I have inhaled a lot of the rust and grime. I was so excited to just get time to work on them that I forgot to wear a dust mask. I did wear ear and eye protection though!
So, I may try to harvest the sorghum this weekend or the next but the mill shouldn’t be the hold up. I’ll show some more pics when we get it back together and when we actually do harvest!
3 thoughts on “Cane mill progress”
Growing up on a farm surrounded by farms of ‘old timers’ I probably should have seen someone processing sorghum but I haven’t. The closest I have come is seeing (I believe) sugar cane processed in the movie Hoosiers by Gene Hackman’s love interest!
Don’t forget some pic’s of the harvesting.
Don’t forget it needs to be bladed and left to stand for a few days to a week before you cut it!
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