It was Autumn, and incessant piped
the quails from shocks and sheaves, And, like living coals, the apples
burned among the withering leaves.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 19th-century
Swing the shining sickle,
the ripening grain;
in the harvest,
is here again.
ye thankful people, come;
the song of Harvest-home;
is safely gathered in,
the winter storms begin.
— Henry Alford, 19th-century English
harvest time, harvest folk,
cheer in the hall.
— Thomas Tusser, 16th-century English poet
October. Balmy, blue-sky days. Flaming trees. Brisk nights. Crisp apples. A
change in the weather, and preparations for the winter to come.
reminds us that the calendar year, which seemed so expansive in May, is in
fact fleeting. It teaches us to expect change, and to enjoy the moment,
enjoy the harvest, “ere the winter storms begin.” And the harvest, of
course, is almost always the result of labor borne by many hands.
that’s exactly how, and why, cooperatives work: everyone shares in the
effort, and everyone benefits from the result. So it’s only natural that
October would be Cooperative Month, a wonderful time to reflect on how this
form of business that stresses local ownership and local control ends up
of people across the globe save money, time and effort every day.
are a strong but often silent presence in our lives, meeting needs as
diverse as banking and babysitting, food and housing, commodities and
communications, and, of course, electricity. Your electric cooperative is
one of over 900 spread across 47 American states, each one locally owned,
locally controlled, and dedicated to providing its member-consumers with the
best possible service at the lowest possible cost, every minute of every
we’ve discussed in these pages many times over many years, each
cooperative is unique, and yet each one is united with all the others by a
shared commitment to Seven Cooperative Principles. These seven principles