Berry Berry Good

The old back ain’t what it used to be.

I can only spend so long bent over picking strawberries, but this season at Samascott Orchards it was incredibly easy. The plants were so crammed with plump, ripe berries that you’d fill a basket in no time — and from the looks of it, they’ll continue yielding fruit for weeks to come.

While we amateurs squatted and stooped in the heat, the laborers who do this for a living had technology on their side. They climbed aboard a motorized platform that crept slowly down the rows of fruit. Lying on their bellies on a padded surface, the workers reached down and plucked the choicest fruit. I tried to imagine what it would be like to do that all day long.

Driving home we passed another field where workers were harvesting strawberries. These folks were doing it the old fashioned way, moving on foot up and down the rows. I wanted to stop and tell them about the other farm and its modern picking contraption.

Eating dinner that night I thought about the physical labor involved in producing the food we eat — and in some cases the lack of respect we show for the people who help provide it. Next time you’re having a tough day, think about picking strawberries all day. That will make your petty office politics BS seem fairly insignificant.

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