Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Samoa in the News

Cocos nucifera, the Samoan tree of life

When the West went through a tropical oils scare back in the day (I think it was in the 80s or 90s), Samoa, which was likely a major coconut oil producer at the time, took a big hit to its economy.

(Incidentally, I used to live near a coconut oil refinery located in the Vaitele area of  ĽUpolu. This makes me an expert on the subject along the lines of Phil Conners being naturally talented at the piano because his father was a piano mover.)

But it looks like things are on the upswing for Samoan farmers, who have the added benefit of being able to farm organically.

I can't imagine it being too hard to grow coconuts organically, though. Apart from the Asiatic rhinoceros beetle, which I think has reached Samoa, the coconut tree seems to have few problems doing what it does best: produce coconuts. Abundantly.

So much so, that a traditional blessing for a new bride in Samoa is may the coconut tree produce much fruit. It would seem that prospective grandparents worldwide are almost universally eager to have as many grandkids as possible as soon as possible, Samoa not excepted.

Anyway, I hope the Samoans will never lose their traditions of farming the land and fishing the seas for at least a portion of their daily sustenance. And if it takes a focus on organic farming to ensure the survival of their culture, all the better.

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