Stories from the Past
The older farmers in my area sure gave me some funny looks when I started asking them If they had an Old Fanning Mill hanging around their farms. “What in the world would I want a thing like that for”? . They had not used them since the 1950’s. I heard the story from each, about cranking those old things all day, just to clean that grain so they could plant that years crop. Those machines were hard work, what are you going to do with something like that.
I told them, I was going to try and harvest worm castings with one. I had not even seen one before, but had only heard of them. After harvesting all my worm casting by this point by hand, with a little 1/8″ screen all night to get ready for a garden show the following day, I was ready to try anything.
The Orange one on the left came from the farmer next to me, It was made between 1913-1915, by the Young Brothers of Almonte Ontario,Yes that makes this machine about 95 years old. This unit is the first one I got, it is still operated with the hand crank on the side of the machine.
The red one on the right is one I got at a farm sale, the farmer had sold his farm. When I went and looked at it I was very happy to see what I saw. Someone had put an electic motor on it.
Even though the orange one had a crank on it,and made harvesting the castings much easier. If my hands could be free to handle all the used up bedding I was putting through this machine, I could make alot more finished worm castings in a shorter time. After a few adjustments it works great.
I have made a video of the red one in action! Harvesting Worm Castings