We spent last weekend at the annual Dudley Farm Cane grinding, and everyone had a great time.
It was a little sad to see how this park is changing under new management since Sally retired. The old people who volunteered and worked a few years ago had really high standards for maintaining this park as an incredible historical resource, but I think the new people maybe just don't quite understand it or have the same good standards.
For example, their corn crop had failed. It's never failed in all the years I've known about the park (seven years, I think). They said it was too dry for the corn this past summer, and they didn't water it and it died. Years ago I asked Sally if they irrigated the corn, and she said they always plant it at a later time so they get the summer rains. I'll bet they planted it at the wrong time, because we got plenty of rain last summer. This year they were selling ground corn from Georgia. It worries me that the Dudley corn will be lost.
Another thing that was very different was that the boiler for the sugar cane juice had cracked, and rather than repair it they decided it was "too historical" to repair (??) and so they built a new cane boiling area up front, which outwardly resembles the old one but has a lot of ill thought out flaws, such as the boiler smokestack facing the wrong way, etc. It's too bad!
But we still had an amazing time there. I'm so glad this park is still around. Morningside Nature Center used to be like Dudley, until someone who used to work for Disney World got his hands on it. I'm afraid Dudley might be going the way of Morningside.
Ethan was there as a volunteer with the Barefoot Boys. They do ax-hewing demonstrations.