If any of you are Jimmy Buffett fans you have heard about the “Coconut Telegraph“. The connection, in any small community, that allows everyone to know everything about everybody in very short order. When we were living in the islands we used to call it the “Papaya Telegraph” (More papaya trees then coconuts but plenty of both.) I like to think that I am not a gossip. I am just a good listener who gets to be privy to the local goings on. When it is appropriate I am willing to pass along useful information. As an example: one of the most difficult to accomplish on the islands was finding housing for people coming from off-island to work in Majuro. I always seemed to know where there was an open rental or one about to become open. One day an Australian volunteer friends came to me to ask if I knew of a place for some newbies arriving soon. I replied that I would ask around saying “I’m pretty well tapped into the telegraph.” She laughed, “You’re not just tapped into the telegraph, you ARE the telegraph.
Fast forward 20+ years and here I am home in Maine serving the same function. (I’m thinking about calling this one the “Sugar Maple Telegraph”, what do you think?) People tell me things. I file them away in my memory and when a person comes along who need that information I can supply it to them. A recent example: one friend told me that she had a goat giving so much rich milk she couldn’t make cheese fast enough. A few days later another friend told me about her preemie goat twins. Because of birth complications the mother had rejected them, so they were being bottle fed. And the connection was made.
This is one of the many reasons I like my job at the Co-op. I see folks all the time and chat with them about this and that. Ultimately information gets passed along to me that I can then pass along to someone else. Through this blog or by other means. Well I have a piece of news that I was told and have sat on for almost a month now, per Holli’s request, waiting for the press release. Yesterday it finally came. My friend Holli Cederholm has been named the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) general manager in charge of technical assistance, organizational development and communications. This is exciting on so many levels. Holli is such a bright and hard-working person I know she is going to do a wonderful job for this very important organization. And this organization is vital to protecting our access to organic seed. They are at the forefront of the fight against Monsanto and I just know Holli is the right person to help lead this most important crusade.