Pick Me a Winner

The thermometer says it’s still summer —but the look on everybody’s face screams that the season is over.

But September’s not no bad. In our house back to school and shorter days mean it’s apple picking time. At Indian Ladder Farms the trees are heavy with fruit, and if you go on a weekend afternoon, the rows of trees are busy with people filling their bags with the most beautiful apples you’ve ever seen.

The orchard is an idyllic place when your only picking half a bushel. Spend the whole day out there and it’s a different story. When my father was a teenager in the Bronx, he was sent away to the country with a work crew to pick apples. It was not idyllic. When I told him it was something we did for fun, he said, “I’d rather be dead than pick another apple.”

Today you can get Americans to pick apples for an hour, but not all day. Places like Indian Ladder Farms bring in crews from Jamaica to work the orchards —but not before they post the jobs locally. Only after they can’t find US citizens to do the work may they bring in foreign laborers. I asked an apple farmer about this once. “Local people we hire to pick apples show up the first day…and they never come back.”  Have a look at what farmers have to do to harvest their crop. That red apple you’re biting into is wrapped in red tape.

3 thoughts on “Pick Me a Winner

  1. That has to be one of the single most depressing things I’ve read in awhile.

    (Ok, and before the wingnuts among you chime in, I realize there’s lots more depressing news out there than this. Consider my remark to be a slight exaggeration.)

    As if it’s not difficult enough for farmers to make a living, or for communities to presserve their local farms and reduce the likelihood of development.

    It’s truly no wonder they end up selling to developers.

    What a sad state of affairs.

    And how friggin’ sad that with all of the unemployed/underemployed… and/or folks on the welfare rolls… we have to turn to hiring “foreign laborers”?

    Did you notice that the hourly wages required for the foreign laborers are higher than both the federal and state minimum wages for Americans. WTF?

    Man, don’t get me started!

    WWOD? (What would Obama do?)
    WWMD? (What would McCain do?)

    Wait, let me guess. Palin would have her evangelical church-members pray for some kind of unrealistic conversion. (You know, like those homosexuals they’re praying over in her church??)

    Support a farmer. Pick an apple! And eat a peach!

  2. I have no doubt they are good workers. Consider the lazy non-foreigners who don’t last a day in these jobs. Just seems like a boatload of red tape so these farmers can run their orchards/farms. And that’s sad.

    Just out of curiousity, who put those rules in place… Democrats or Republicans?

    — smirking —

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