Well, it’s been a crazy winter for Acorn. The business’ rapid growth in the past couple of years has given way to breakneck growth this winter. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange grew at a rate of about 70% over last year for January and February of this year. The community population, however, has not and the resulting situation has meant widespread craziness and long long hours. So significant has been the growth that this year we’ve begun, in a charming bit of historical reciprocity, to hire Twin Oakers to help us handle the extra business. For the first many years of Acorn’s existence we supported ourselves making hammocks for Twin Oaks and it’s nice to finally be in a position where we can be there for them.
The extra income from the business has finally allowed us to get serious about constructing more buildings and we’ve been having a number of meetings towards that end. Plans under consideration include a renovation of our old farmhouse in the style of ex-Oaker Alexis’ renovation of Woodfolk House in Charlottesville, the construction of a new dormitory style residence, and the construction of a new centralized SESE office building.
While our membership has not been in any way keeping up with our business we have been growing at a steady pace. New members Jason and Ashley joined us in January and jumped right in. Puck of Twin Oaks joined as a dual member in January and we were also able to convince ex-intern Sabrina to join while she waited for her spot at Twin Oaks to open up. We’ve accepted two other women who plan to return to us in the not too distant future. Sadly, both Emily and Marielle left us at the end of 2008, each to pursue their own adventures.
We’re gearing up now for an excellent Land Day bash as we celebrate our sweet sixteenth anniversary on Sunday April 5th (our actual anniversary is on April 1st but it falls inconveniently on a Wednesday this year). The weather is finally turning and more and more of us are getting a chance to go work in the garden and escape the office vortex. The summer looks promising with a steady stream of folks interested in coming by for internships and membership visits. Hopefully we’ll be able to manage things and attract the right people to start throwing up some much needed buildings.