News from Vermont #388 We All Speak…..Maple

October 30, 2017

Hello again Maple People,
As I’ve said before, meeting and talking to folks from all over the world is one of the most interesting parts of my job. And from our greeting, we can each tell where the other hails from, although from mine, they know  I am from Vermont.  Take for instance an “Aussie”. When a person greets me with “G’die”, I immediately know he’s an Aussie or, put another way, a person from “Down Under” (and that’s not a derogatory term…they all seem proud of their Down Under status). Then there’s always the Texas “howDEE”, the French Canadian “ELow”, the Alabama “Nawhs t’meet y’all” and the United Kingdom “A’roight?”.
And speaking of the UK, I had an interesting talk last year with Karolyn, a group leader on one of the foliage tour buses that regularly comes to visit us here on the farm. When we greeted each other the second time she came this season, our conversation went something like this:
Karolyn…”How is the cough you had last week?”.
Me…”You must be confusing me with someone else. I didn’t have a cough last week.”.
Karolyn…”Oh yes you did indeed!”
Me, a bit worried about the the state of my mind…”You sure?”
Karolyn…”Yes, of course, the cough, the little cough that was dow
n in the cough pen and had just been born.”.
And suddenly there it was, of course, the “calf”, a new born member of the species
 bovine pronounced “cough” by an Englishman!
Yes, we hear enough dialects and accents down at our sugarhouse these days to expand our small world well beyond Vermont’s borders but the one that spoke the loudest to me recently came in a different form. I was walking out our store’s side door when a woman watching our farm video in our Woodshed Theatre hailed me…”Mr. Morse, Mr. Morse” she said, hurrying in my direction. As she reached me, she thrust out her right hand for a firm shake, introducing herself at the same time. She quickly explained that she owned a cotton farm in West Texas and just wanted to meet me since my Vermont farmer’s face is prominent in our video.
Before I proceed, let me explain something about farm people: First of all, we share a deep physical connection to the earth. We all work hard and are proud as can be about what we do. Lastly, we feel a special kinship with each other no matter where in the world we farm or what we farm. My instinct immediately drew me to the lady from West Texas and as she started telling me how grateful she was for our efforts on this Vermont farm, tears suddenly started streaming down her face and her voice cracked with emotion. I could see that those tears were not from the weather, an allergy or a cold.  No, they were simple emotions for our common roots as brother and sister in the same “field”, a field that’s grueling at times but so important…a field where we share a special dialect in the form of a tear.

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