Picking Strawberries…

Early April Organic Strawberries, Salinas CA
Early April Organic Strawberries, Salinas CA

Here’s a recent photo from our farm. Yeah, those strawberries are sweet, but it’s hard work. You don’t see any white people doing this kind of job here in California. Actually, I think there was one on a berry crew last summer I heard about. When I was a kid it was fairly common. Quite a few teenagers would work the summer months in the fields. That’s how I grew up.

Good money, good way to build up your muscles for the school sports seasons, good way to brush up on your Spanish. Nowadays? Nope. Despite high unemployment, white people aren’t willing to work in the fields. Most of the field jobs in California farming are done by Mexicans, either illegal or legal. I’m not a fan of amnesty, but I do think we should have some kind of sensible work visa program similar to the Bracero program of decades ago (interesting that Kennedy killed the Bracero program–still can’t wrap my head around that one; I imagine the UFW had a hand in that decision).

2 thoughts on “Picking Strawberries…”

  1. Here, the summer fruit pickers are often either French-Canadians, or Europeans, often college kids on summer break (they camp in the orchards in tents and old Westphalia vans). And then they pile into the library to use the free internet stations. Canada has special visas for agricultural labourers, I think.

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