Sep 212015

During this harvest season, I spent a morning in the blackberry patch picking berries and meeting some of the other pickers.  The morning started early around 6 a.m.  Picking needs to be done early before the temperature gets too hot making the delicate berries too fragile to pick.  blackberry picking 1There were about 6 pickers and me that morning in July.  We were each assigned a row and given lined buckets for our blackberries.  On the row next to me, Emily, a second year college student was gathering berries.  She searched through the plants top to bottom trying to get every ripe berry from the vine (female pickers generally are more thorough than their male counterparts).  She worked mostly in silence, no earbuds, spending her summer morning earning some education funding.  On the row opposite, Coe, a couple years out of high school, was picking berries.  Coe, who claimed his namesake was the outlaw singer David Allen Coe, was earning a few extra bucks working in the outdoors, in the process of finding his path through life.  blackberry 1I got to the end of my row and took my berry bucket to be weighed.  I did fairly well, not the first done with a row, but I did have the most berries, about 14 lb.  If I could have kept up that pace for the remaining of the picking day, around 4 hours, I could have earned around $50 to $60 for an early morning’s work.  Lots of up and down, bending over, I would certainly have to build up my back to be able to pick everyday and still be able to walk upright.