Friday, June 8, 2012

Tooting our own Horn

Three years ago today I visited Andalusia for the first time.  In a previous post I shared some of my impressions of that day and how I never imagined I would one day be working at the farm.  When I look back over the last three years I am astonished at how much has changed and how many improvements to the property have been made.  Here is how the farm looked back on that June day in 2009.  The Hill house was in shambles, there were neither peacocks nor an aviary to house them, the dairy processing shed was just beginning to be restored, the exterior of the main house needed paint, environmental education and the Bernard Cline Outdoor Learning Center were but a dream, and when needed repairs to stabilize the cow barn were going to be made was anybody's guess.  Today, as I look around the Andalusia complex, it's a much different story.  As I write this blog, work crews are busy finishing the restoration of the Hill house and have started shoring up the cow barn.  This morning there is a group of biology students from Georgia College that is doing research on the pond's ecosystem.  Their arrival at the farm was greeted by a chorus of peafowl.  Remember a visitor back in 2009 would have seen none of this.  Back then attendance averaged 71 visitors a week.  Today we're up to almost 100.  In addition to an increase in visitation, our programming has expanded significantly with many more book signings, author readings, symposiums, and special presentations.  All in all, I'd say we have a lot to be proud of, and so I hope you don't mind if we toot our own horn just a little bit.
- Mark

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