THE VISIT TO THE FARM
At the sighting of the signpost that reads <strong><em>WELCOME TO AGBEDE</em></strong>, I already felt at home. My younger brother was waiting by the road to welcome us. The walk to the house was filled with warm greetings and the cold breeze from the trees was not left out.
We are here, We are home. We were welcomed with hot pap (Ogi) and bean cake (Akara). While we enjoyed the meal, the elders were nostalgic telling tales of their childhood account of the celebration, prior to this; those of us meeting for the first time were introduced to each other. The mothers busied themselves in the kitchen, after our great meal we set out on an excursion around the village. My dad was the curator; our first point of call was to the farm, we saw different trees, ranging from fruit trees and cash crop trees, which were identified and stories about them were told. These included; orange tree, lemon tree, calabash tree, cheery (agbalumo) tree, cash crop included; cocoa, palm tree, kola nut, we also saw pineapple plantation.
While telling us stories of different trees, he showed us a particular lemon tree and retorted that its fruits are the sweetest in the village. At the oil palm and cocoa farm, we noticed some clearings and huge deposit of palm tree produce, here, he told us is the collation site of oil palm seeds, there the seeds are removed from their bunch to be packed to oil processing sites,
Yours truly was lucky to find a left over oil seed (etan), which I chewed and suck out the oil.
We plucked a pod of cocoa to eat at home and picked some cherry (agbalumo) fruits. At the site of the coca pod, grandpa rebooted into the nostalgic mood and told us a story.
When he was in the secondary school, on the occasion of an open day visitation in his year one, one of their teachers told his class to go harvest some cocoa, he said after harvesting they all packed the cocoa pod in a place without the necessary processing, said it was supposed to be put in a dark place.
At the next class, the teacher came to class to ask about the harvested cocoa, when they provided them, the teacher was so furious when he realised they didn’t do what was expected of them. “is this how you are supposed to leave these pods you idiots, if it were to be from your fathers farm will you leave them to waste” this the teacher said in anger and told them how they were supposed to go about it. Grandpa said he was angry because of the way the teacher shouted at them especially the reference to their fathers that he packed his belongings from the dormitory that night to return home. While leaving a came across the one of his younger brothers in the village who happen to be his senior of about half a year, and at this point he changed his mind to stay back in school, because if he left that night, that boy will now be his senior of more than two years, as he wouldn’t be able to enroll back to school immediately. At their final examination for geography & Agriculture, he said the first and compulsory question was to “explain in details the processing of cocoa from farm produce to finished goods”. The moral of the story was that; if we are corrected about anything, we should endeavour to take to corrections, and to always put our pride behind us. If he had not taken the teachers correction serious and learn the processing, he might fail that examination. If he didn’t humble himself and thought of his younger brother becoming his senior for more years than he was already, his pride might not let stay back at school.
After listening to the story and all laughed at the part where the teacher referenced their fathers, yours occupied herself with the cocoa. I cut it into two and happily suck at the seed.