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Farine making still important part of Christmas

Farine making still important part of Christmas


The busy shoppers, the lights and the gifts signal that Christmas is near, but for Aaron Roberts, farine making is an important part of the Christmas festivities, something he holds close to his heart.{{more}}

Roberts, a sixty-eight-year old resident, of Sandy Bay, spoke to Searchlight on Tuesday about this family tradition, a simple tradition from which he has made his living and which keeps him busy to this day.

Roberts started making farine back in the 1960s when he was in his early twenties. He said he learnt by his watching father, the late Enos Roberts.

He says he will never forget his father’s advice: “My son, it’s the quickest penny you can get,” he recalled. “ It was never for rich,” he added, “ I learn from it.”

Roberts also recalled how good he was at farine making. “Long time days I used to make forty-five, fifty cups of farine,” he said. Today, Roberts only makes about

ten to fifteen cups for his family and customers on demand, but he does not intend to stop anytime soon. “When I feel like doing it (make farine) I do it,” he said.

Roberts’ brother John Roberts is also known for making quality farine in the Sandy Bay area, but Aaron is uncertain about whether the tradition will live on in his family when he dies. He admitted to Searchlight that his sons and grandchildren are not cut out for the demanding task. “They say it’s hard work and they ain’t decide to do it, but for me it’s a pleasure.”

He is, however, ready and willing to share his skill with them: “If they would come I would teach them how to do it,” he said.

Roberts makes the farine in a shed at the back of his house using cassava grown on his own small plot of land. He also plants tania and pumpkins as well.

As for Christmas memories that stand out, Roberts fondly remembers the charity of his “good friends” and the fun times he had with them, things he says are not like before.

This year, Roberts intends to spend a simple Christmas with his close family. (OS)