Despite challenges, Carlton is 'nuts' about his job

March 22, 2018
Carlton Graham stacks old coconut shells in a pile in Spring Garden, Portland.
File Carlton Graham tends to young coconut plants in Portland.

For 25 years, Carlton Graham has been working as a station officer at the Coconut Industry Board's nursery and management site in Spring Gardens, Portland.

His work requires him to live with his family on the property owned by the organisation. His job is to oversee the daily operations, which include monitoring the growth of the coconut seedlings, collecting data, and warding off persons who could be intent on stealing the nuts from a bed that has been set up for them to germinate in.

"Whoever in charge, a yah so dem live, 'cause dem want somebody fi always stay pon di farm," he told THE STAR.

Graham said that on numerous occasions, persons have stolen coconut seedlings that are sold to farmers in the parish.

Noting that the farm is approximately 25 acres large, he explained that it is very difficult to prevent the robbers who want to raid the coconut bed.

"All yu deh yah, dat cyaah stop people from thief di nut dem, all inna middle day dem come. It is just dat true mi deh yah, dem can't get fi thief di amount weh dem want," Graham admitted.

Whenever they are spotted, he said, the would-be robbers take off running while clutching as many coconut seedlings as they can.

"Dem wi thief a good amount still, but di farm big still, gone back way ova suh, a 25 acres a land just wid coconut alone," he pointed out.

He said that he is also responsible for collecting the seed nuts, fertiliser, or other chemicals when they are dropped off.

Having spent a quarter of a century at the facility, Graham, now 60, said that he is happy with the work that he has been doing.

"A dis a mi work. Mi get a lot a satisfaction from it because a it provide fi mi family. And if it wasn't for this, mi wouldn't deh ya fi 25 years," he told THE STAR.

Despite a number of individuals choosing to leave the site for different reasons, he has chosen to remain there.

"Dem do dem thing and den mi move come here come live. A nuff man lef di work. Mi come yah come see man weh end up lef di work," Graham said.

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