I'm down here near Ann Arbor burning 3 - 4 tons of rice/yr. for my shop (DVC-500). I've been buying Blaschak bagged rice from 'Storey Stone' in Jackson, and more recently from 'Chelsea Rentals' in Chelsea. They're both running at close to $7. a 40lb.bag. Yikes--we gotta do better than that!! A buddy and I are trimming houses down in Carlton. He comes in from Milan on his way to Carlton, and mentioned to me that he noticed a guy selling coal in Willis, so I checked it out -- 20 minutes from my house and I never knew he was there. It's 'Gaspar Recycling', and they sell bulk for less than 10 cents/lb. I don't know what breaker it comes from, all they could tell me is its anthracite from PA. I haven't tried it yet, since they only carry stove and lump sizes, and it looks like they just have a couple of dumpster loads. They're at 734-587-3710 if it's of any use to you guys. Probably too far south for most of you.
I'm also now the owner of a Quaker #6 baseheater, which I bought and had restored 'sight unseen'. It will use the stove coal. Just have the minor detail of building a chimney this summer before I can put her to use. It's also a rather LARGE stove, which kind of overpowers our LR. I'm considering selling the Quaker and purchasing an EFM or AA stoker to tie in with my existing gas boiler, but that would burn rice or buck -- neither of which this local guy carries. If the work holds up, I'll keep the Quaker and put her in the barn for when the DVC-500 dies.
Bottom line: maybe by the end of this summer I'd be game to go in on a load of rice -- maybe half or third of a 24 ton load? That is, if work and funds hold up. But consider me a potential candidate for sharing a load, and let's keep in touch. Anybody know where Greg L gets his coal? I'm sure he's checked it out, and I think he's up near Flint.