Andalusia Live Cam

Situated in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Alabama

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  • City of Andalusia
  • 505 East Three Notch Street - Andalusia
  • Alabama 36420 - United States
  • (334) 222-3312
  • https://www.cityofandalusia.com/

A Proud Heritage – A Progressive Future

Around Town with the Mayor

Dreaming of Spring, Fresh Vegetables, and Fresh Fruit...

As everyone knows the arrival of the Robins is a harbinger of spring. With that in mind we turn our attention to another time honored rite associated with the changing of the seasons. As we enter into lent we will soon pass into the Easter Season and with that we will witness the glorious rebirth of the land around us.

As green life returns to our brown land, we think about planting. Many of us don’t realize it today, but our history is steeped in agriculture. Our town, economy, nation, everything we have today is a result of an agrarian society that toiled endlessly in the long hot summers for generations to raise crops, herds and flocks. Almost all of our founding fathers were farmers.

As we work to build and diversify our economy, we often forget that our largest industry is still agriculture. Not only that, but it puts food on the table! Literally! With this in mind I have been searching for ways to revive our farmer’s market. You may remember when growers sold produce on South Three Notch Street, across from the Presbyterian Church, to enthusiastic shoppers. Lately, interest has declined for various reasons.

The best way to bring a downtown area “back to life” is to look for public/private partnerships for new ventures in the area. A few months ago, after brainstorming for solutions for the farmer’s market, the idea was hatched to convert an old city owned warehouse, in the historic center of town, into a farmer’s market. The old diesel power plant building, on Historic Central Street, across from the Three Notch Museum, would make the perfect location for a market place. The building, currently being used by the City for a storage facility, was Andalusia’s electric power plant for many years in the early part of the twentieth century.



This historic building, with its thirty feet tall ceilings, brick walls, and central location, could be easily renovated to make a very historic and highly efficient venue for a market place. With the museum across the street and other public and private development in the downtown area, this project is sure to succeed. Imagine giant fans drawing the air into the ancient building, filled with the fruits of our rich land. Attached shelters outside would cover trucks brimming with natural, locally grown food. People from all over would come to purchase fresh field peas, butterbeans, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, blueberries, strawberries, watermelons, cantaloupes, honey, preserves, the list goes on forever.

Recently, I shared the idea with Speaker Hammett, Senator Holley, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks and Greg White, Chairman of our County Commission. Each was very encouraging and promised to help find funding to bring the idea to reality.

This week I was honored to attend the Covington County Farmer’s Federation Farm City Dinner. While there, I eagerly shared our vision for the farmer’s market and was overwhelmed by the interest that the agriculture community has for this venture. I can’t think of a better way to bring the farm and the city together, in the heart of historic Downtown Andalusia. Ricky Wiggins, Southeast Region Vice President of ALFA, Tommy Thompson, Chairman of the Covington County Farmers Federation, Lavon Glisson, manager of the Andalusia Farmer’s Cooperative, and Steve Yelverton, area representative of the RCS, all active members of our agriculture community, have also expressed support for these efforts.

With partner interest in a market place growing, I recently shared the plans with the council and hope to bring the complete plans to them as soon as we firm up some of our partner financial support. The fact that we have so many potential partners should greatly lessen the burden on the city. We realize that with so many other projects already underway, the Church Street ALDOT project, Downtown ALDOT project, South Three Notch Street ALDOT project, the Industrial Park Access Road, the Andala Building, and First National Bank Building Projects, we must be very careful not to overextend ourselves. But by pulling in a cross section of interested partners, none is left with the burden alone.

In anticipation of the success of partnership funding for the project our city crews will initiate selective demolition of some old concrete and wooden structures in the building. Hopefully, this will speed up the conversion process should our council approve the project.

As spring arrives, our farmers will begin planting their seeds. Hopefully, by the time the crops come in, we’ll have a regional market place, thriving with growers and hungry citizens, enjoying the bounty of the earth.

Next week I look forward to sharing with you another use for the Farmers Market, utilizing the same facility to implement a regional Trade Day the first Saturday of each month. Other areas have a similar venue that we truly believe, with our regional market draw, that we could entice a good crowd downtown for a quality Trade Days event.