The power of hard work
If there is one thing that stands out for the Ausage family; it is that hard work coupled with consistency produces sweet results.
Iulai Ausage, from the village of Nu’u, said his family has lived a great life through pineapple sales.
He says that through his father’s sweat and hard work, their four acre land covered with pineapples has provided their family with all that they need.
“We have just returned from our pineapple plantation,” Iulai told the Village Voice.
“We are taking these baskets up to the family so we can sort them and get it all ready for sale. This is our family’s livelihood; we make a living on crops we grow here on our land.
“We are just helping our father out with his plantation. Our four acre land is covered with pineapples.”
Aged 28, Iulai says he has spent 15 years helping his father with the plantation and he wouldn’t trade that time for the world.
“This has been our lives for a very long time,” he said.
“I have been helping my father out with his pineapple plantation for about 15 years now. These baskets of pineapples are actually going to Tusitala hotel; we supply them and it’s a good reliable way of making money for our family.
“These two baskets will get us a little over $600 from the hotel.”
Iulai’s job is to take good care of the plantation which requires him to constantly weed the four acre land.
“My father plants the crops and we help out with taking care of them,” he said.
“It’s not that hard to take care of pineapples until they are ready for harvest. The thing with pineapples is, if you don’t take care of the pineapples and weed around it then it won’t grow properly.
“We see our plantation as a gift from our father to his family. He works really hard to provide for us because as you may already know, the cost of living is very high.
“This is our family’s way of dealing with the rising cost of everything.”
And with the 15 years of helping his father out; Iulai said that he has picked up some lifelong skills along the way.
“Everything we know about farming is taught to us from our father,” he said.
“Living off of a plantation is a really good thing because not only does it provide food, but it also earns us a bit of extra cash.
“We are given different talents from the Lord but the one thing that matters in this life is to always be obedient to your parents. I am currently employed but I am on break; all of my breaks are spent helping my father out with his work.
“We grow the pineapples throughout the year so harvest times differ.”
All in all, Iulai was proud of how far they have come with this small, sweet, spiky fruit.
“We were able to do a lot with our pineapples,” he said.
“We bought a car, we built a house and we have done many things with the money we get from our plantation. It’s a really good source of money and I can’t stress that enough.
“We still need some cement to finish our house so we are still working hard with our plantation.”