We began making sorghum syrup in 2004 with the aquisition of a Chattanooga #12 Improved Mill.That first year, My wife and her father took turns driving our '49 Cub Farmall around in circles to pull the mill. We cooked off what little juice we had in a sectional batch pan that a friend and neighbor uses, on top of a concrete block furnace we threw together in one afternoon.
By 2005, We had modified the mill to pull by belt using the transmission and rearend from a '30 Farmall Regular I had for parts.
Also in '05, we found an 80 gallon Goldens kettle and built a brick furnace for it.
In 2006, we acquired a ground driven McCormick-Deering Corn Binder to harvest our cane with, which makes the harvest so easy it's almost illegal! 2006 also saw the birth of our second child, Kelly on April 8th. Her older brother Sam was born in 2000.2007 saw the addition of a Chattanooga #70 Power Mill to the operation. Comparing it to the old #12 is like night to day. Even though we were in the throws of a terrible drought, we had the best crop yet. The field our neighbor lets us use has a spring under it, so the ground always had moisture. We ground about 260 gallons of juice, cooked 3 80 gallon batches and poured out the rest. Ended up with between 26-28 gallons of finished syrup. We hope to get a shed built over the furnace before the '08 cooking.
10-23-08 We cooked the '08 syrup on 10-18-08 Click here for pictures and info.