Friday, February 26, 2010

The Milk-Processing Shed -- Restored

The latest restoration completion at Andalusia is the milk-processing shed, located just in front of the cow barn. The shed dates back to the 1940s or earlier. During the 1950s when Regina Cline O'Connor operated Andalusia as a dairy farm, the actual processing or pasteurization of the milk was performed off site at the cooperative, located fifteen miles north of Andalusia, in Eatonton. The essential function of the milk-processing shed at Andalusia was to keep the milk cool until it could be transported to the cooperative. The shed was equipped with large, refrigerated tanks filled with water for cooling and storing the cans of milk. Hot water, supplied by the tank in a small, separate compartment, was used to sterilize the empty cans and milking equipment before they were placed on drying racks to be used again. The importance of making sure that milk was carefully processed before drinking it is clearly illustrated in O'Connor's story "The Enduring Chill."

The restoration of the milk-processing shed was completed in 2009 and was primarily funded by the Watson-Brown Junior Board of Milledgeville. Additional support for this project came from generous donations from Friends of Andalusia and donations given in memory of Robert W. Mann and Catherine Florencourt Firth.


Friday, February 19, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes

It's hard to believe that the picture you see on the right was taken just six days ago. Today it's sunny and pleasantly mild (for a change!) out here on the farm. It's been dry for a while too, which makes it unnecessary to put on boots when going outside to tend to chores such as feeding the peafowl. Another welcome change! All the same, last week's snow turned Andalusia into a winter wonderland. Craig took this and several other photos when he came into work last Saturday morning. They were all so good, it was hard to select one for this blog. If you've never experienced the breathtaking beauty of Andalusia in person, perhaps this photo will inspire you to come out and visit us.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Battening Down the Hatches

With a major winter storm on the way and most of the schools in the area closed, we have been busy getting ready for whatever mother nature dishes up. This morning we gave the peafowl some extra feed and several fistfulls of cracked corn, one of their favorite treats. Craig also spread wheat straw in the coop to make the birds' shelter as snug as possible. One of the hens immediately began investigating her new digs (perhaps checking out a place to lay her eggs in the spring). In spite of the winter dreariness, all three birds appear happy and healthy. Though they are not taking food from our hands yet, as they did with Flannery, the peafowl are much more comfortable having us around and are used to our presence in the aviary. Flossie, the hinny, has been around here so long that nothing phases her. She simply retreats to the warm and secure confines of her barn. If we do get some snow, a rarity in middle Georgia, Craig and I have our digital cameras ready. A picture of the farm covered in white would make a lovely Christmas card this year.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Flannery's Super Bowl Pick

Though there is no evidence to suggest that Flannery O'Connor ever saw a game of football in her life, I suspect that this Sunday she would be sitting in front of her little black and white tv set (a gift from the sisters at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Free Cancer Home in Atlanta) to watch the contest between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. Why would she be interested in this year's Super Bowl, you ask, and which team would she be pulling for? With apologies to our friends in the Hoosier State, there is little doubt that Flannery would be rooting for the Saints. Having visited New Orleans in 1962 where she gave a lecture at Loyola University (and met Walker Percy), Flannery had a great affection for the city. In a letter to John Hawkes she declared, "If I had to live in a city I think I would prefer New Orleans to any other - both Southern and Catholic and with indications that the Devil's existence is freely recognized." (Habit of Being, p. 500) This colorful city, populated by characters that could have walked off the pages of an O'Connor story, chose for the name of its football team the Saints. Flannery would have loved that.

Out here at Andalusia on Sunday we will be hosting the first of our 2010 February lectures. Don Rooney, curator of Urban History at the Atlanta History Center, will be discussing the operations and programs at the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum. The lecture begins at 3:00 and there will be refreshments served afterwards. Come join us. You'll get home in plenty of time to catch the Super Bowl.