Apr 3, 2020
Jerry Mills: No shortage of power after aggressive equipment upgrade

Time running out for pruning. Here it is middle February as I write this and 5° F this morning. Rains, mud, cold, snow and occasional low temperatures seem to be stacked against us when it comes to pruning.

It does not help a bit that I have become too lazy to go out and fight this stuff on my own. It is so easy to find excuses to stay in by the fire when conditions are less than perfect.

A bitin’ and a chewin’ I have always been guilty of biting off more than I could chew. We planted too many fruit trees, but I thought it prudent to have a few extra, just in case. We also planted way too many Christmas trees. I overestimated the market. Now we are working on the electrical system for the farm.

Jerry Mills shows the upgraded electric mechanism. Photo: Jerry Mills

We originally had standard 120/240 volt 100 amp service. That was not adequate and with the new red barn, this is a chance to upgrade.

I elected to go to a heavier system, not realizing how big it would be. The power company asked for a survey of all electric equipment, so I sent a list. It totaled over 600 amps.

They recommended a three-phase 440 volt, 640 amp system. I said press on, not realizing what I was doing. The picture shows what we got, plus three new poles, double sets of the wires off the transformers at the pole and I suspect a larger transformer.

We will never have to worry about having brownouts again. There will be enough juice for everything. Too much? We will see. But, if I followed my normal practice, we will have enough to power everything, plus supplying most of the neighborhood.

Coronavirus, potential threat to the world. Students of history know that since the time early man learned to communicate civilizations have risen flourished and then declined. Sometimes the smaller ones disappeared entirely. Many lasted for several thousand years before fading. The Greek and Roman civilizations are good examples.

We think we know why some of them disappeared, but not all. Changes in weather patterns, invasions, plagues and moral decay were some of the causes. Others are mysteries.

I have always thought that since ours rose so rapidly, compared to the ancient ones, it might decline in a similar manner.

Well, here we are, facing a pandemic for which there is no control. We think it started in China, but do not know the source. It is not usually fatal but we do not have a treatment. In the last 500 years we learned to control most of the
easy diseases. Now we have one that, at the moment is uncontrollable.

Fingers crossed. I suspect this one will not be the last one.

Funny thing happened on the way to breakfast: Stopped at bathroom. Washed hands and face. Washed upper dental plate, inserted. Washed lower plate, inserted. Washed hearing aid. … What? Luckily, it dried without being ruined.

A good plug for my book from a reader: “There is something interesting on every single page.” Know what? She is right. I am not sure many writers can make that claim about the stuff they write. People do say it is good reading.

Another comment: “He has the same sense of humor as Mark Twain.” I don’t know about that, but it nice to hear.

New lesson learned: The other night, when headed to the bathroom, I discovered my bathrobe was on inside out. Never mind, the call was urgent so I pressed on, hiked up the robe and sat down.

Have you ever wondered what happens to bathrobe belts when you sit down on a john and the belt is inside the robe?

— Jerry Mills, Mills Apple Farm

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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