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A day in the strawberry fields seems like forever (Barf Alert!)
Los Angeles Times ^ | 05/03/13 | Hector Becerra

Posted on 05/03/2013 8:22:46 PM PDT by Route395

About 30 minutes into my job as a picker, the strawberry fairy left her first gift. On one of the beds of berries that seemed to stretch forever into the Santa Maria marine layer, Elvia Lopez had laid a little bundle of picked fruit. She and the other three dozen Mexican immigrants in the field were bent at an almost 90-degree angle, using two hands to pack strawberries into plastic containers that they pushed along on ungainly one-wheeled carts. They moved forward, relentlessly, ever bent, following a hulking machine with a conveyor belt that spirited away their fruit. But Lopez, a 31-year-old immigrant from Baja California, knew I was falling behind.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


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This is what the L.A. Times in Liberal Los Angles can find to write about?...Nothing about jobs being created for middle class Americans and their families. No businesses moving here because of the great business climate? Nothing like the extinct GM plant in Van Nuys or the Lockheed Plant in Burbank? No...It's all about the poor worker in the strawberry field who has to pay her coyote back. What a dismal depressing story! It makes me puke!
1 posted on 05/03/2013 8:22:46 PM PDT by Route395
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To: Route395
Fear not,Pedro....word is that your pals in Malibu (the ones who care so much about you) are about to see their $20 million homes destroyed by global warming.
2 posted on 05/03/2013 8:29:26 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Leno Was Right,They *Are* Undocumented Democrats!)
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To: Route395

Does the author’s last name give you any real insight into his motivation?

Before they know it they’ll be replaced with cheaper labor from Vietnam and Thailand .....

No how is your BS punk attitude?


3 posted on 05/03/2013 8:36:59 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Route395

Picking fruit is damn hard, I picked fruit every summer from eight grade until til the eleventh.
I also scrubbed toilets/houses and baby sat every weekend......that’s how I earned money.
Then in college I cleaned houses, worked in a day care, worked in a book store, walked to work/school (my husband and I had one car between us, which was always breaking down), had no phone...almost never went out (parties/movies)......big fracking deal.
You do what you need to to get ahead.
You don’t like picking fruit in the US, go home and pick it there.


4 posted on 05/03/2013 8:39:27 PM PDT by svcw (If you are dead when your heart stops, why aren't you alive when it starts.)
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To: Route395

WAH WAH! This idiot would have never lasted in the bean fields of Arkansas back in the 1960s!

Pick green beans, one cent a lb! bent double. 100+ temperature. 70-90 humidity made it feel like 125 degrees!
After a rain you could make five dollars a day! When it was dry you made maybe 2.60 dollars a day even though you picked the same amount of beans. It didn’t rain enough!

My brother passed out in the fields due to the heat.

Never again! (I hope)


5 posted on 05/03/2013 8:39:49 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Do we now register our pressure cookers?)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Strawberry fields forever...Migrant workers and the very rich. Will the last middle class family leaving California please turn out the lights?


6 posted on 05/03/2013 8:54:52 PM PDT by Route395
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To: Route395

We spent 30 minutes in the field picking strawberries yesterday. Back felt fine. No gift from the fairy just delicious fresh fruit without any illegal immigrant pee all over it. They seem to like to pee when they pick, causing all those outbreaks. So pick your own, save money and a trip to the ER.


7 posted on 05/03/2013 8:57:06 PM PDT by Deathtomarxists (yellow black or white hillary's pantsuits stink by night!!)
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To: Deathtomarxists
Apparently Dole packs them right from their hands for market.

I will never buy fruit in clamshells, again.

[and it's not because they're illegals...it's just unsanitary]

8 posted on 05/03/2013 9:00:36 PM PDT by Salamander
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar; Route395

Those of us who have done field work probably have a different perspective than the OP, who most likely has not.

It’s an ugly truth that unskilled American workers aren’t willing to take those jobs because it’s too hard and many of them would rather live off food stamps and charity.

Americans don’t like to sweat, unless it’s in a quest for good looks.


9 posted on 05/03/2013 9:03:56 PM PDT by Jedidah
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To: Route395

Cry me a river. I spent my summers from ages 11-14 picking strawberries, beans, cherries, and blackberries. Heck yeah it was hard work. So?


10 posted on 05/03/2013 9:08:54 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Salamander

I didn’t know they were packed by the field workers either...No washing?


11 posted on 05/03/2013 9:13:31 PM PDT by Route395
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To: Route395

The photo is up there and it sure doesn’t look like it.

Bleah.


12 posted on 05/03/2013 9:18:48 PM PDT by Salamander
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Bucking bales of hay with hooks onto a wagon, in August on a a ranch, and sometimes turning one over and there’s an unhappy little prairie rattler trapped in the wire. And similar jobs.
I’m going to have to skip the ‘pity party’ put on by those worried about having to mow their own lawns, make their own beds, clean their own pools, and on-and-on.


13 posted on 05/03/2013 9:19:04 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: Route395

Go #@$ yourself, Hector. You filthy little propagandist.


14 posted on 05/03/2013 9:22:17 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Thought Puzzle: Describe Islam without using the phrase "mental disorder" more than four times.)
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To: tumblindice

***Bucking bales of hay with hooks onto a wagon, in August on a a ranch,****

Been there done that. Thank heaven for round bales!

Ever notice that a farmer who bales square bales for himself makes the bales extremely heavy in the 80-100 lb range? Costs less to hire teens at a few cents a bale to load and stack.

Then when he bales hay to sell to others, they are in the 30-50 lb range. More bales per field that way.


15 posted on 05/03/2013 9:30:19 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Do we now register our pressure cookers?)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

Thats why they are here to do what you won’t do you lazy bum!
Maybe you should have took your desk chair to the fields!


16 posted on 05/03/2013 9:31:00 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

I was working for my uncle. I’ll guesstimate the bales were about 70 lbs.
He ran a lot of cattle, owned a lot of land. My cousin runs it now.

It was real ‘Of Mice and Men’ stuff, but I didn’t even get a puppy. But I did get ketchup on my beans!


17 posted on 05/03/2013 9:39:40 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
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To: Route395

I started picking berries in 1962, at the age of 7. Back then, it was the about the only way for a kid that age to make actual cash. It was 5 cents a halleck (anyone remember that term?) which was 60 cents a crate. $3.00 was an OK day. Got us kids out of the house for the day, and we learned that pay was directly related to how hard you worked.

I was in awe of how the Mexican pickers could work.


18 posted on 05/03/2013 9:42:05 PM PDT by HartleyMBaldwin
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To: Route395

In 1962 my husband planted strawberries and green onions in Fountain Valley, CA. He was 14 yrs. old. He went to Santa Ana employment office to find an after school job and filled out the card... they gave him a card for farm help. He hitch hiked back and forth to work every day... he worked for Wat Hasegawa. He to this day felt it was a healthy experience. It was the last year of the Bracero program. He learned a lot working beside Japanese and Mexican people. He felt the stoop labor was not too much different from what he did in Alabama when he was 8 yrs old. He said you might wish things were easier, but was thankful to have the work. And yes... there were many families up into the 1960’s who had children working and contributing to the family... that’s the way it use to be.


19 posted on 05/03/2013 9:43:31 PM PDT by antceecee (Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: HartleyMBaldwin

Heck yeah, I remember “halleck”! So, do you remember getting back on the schoolbus, filthy, beat, and triumphant, with a couple bucks worth of real folding money in your hand? King of the world, baby.


20 posted on 05/03/2013 9:49:21 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: tumblindice

I have a photo of my Grandma Grace pitching a bale of hay into a pick up truck... one of these days I’ll get it scanned and post here..... she was not a big woman... wonderful photo.


21 posted on 05/03/2013 10:35:17 PM PDT by antceecee (Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: Salamander

I doubt they are packed in the clamshells in the field. That would be a huge time waster. The photo is probably a publicity ad.


22 posted on 05/03/2013 11:17:10 PM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: lastchance; Salamander

Oh yuck. They do put them right in the clamshells. Goes to show what an innocent I am. Glad I am a fanatic about washing fruit.


23 posted on 05/03/2013 11:21:37 PM PDT by lastchance ("Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis" St. Augustine)
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To: lastchance

Bleah!

LOL!


24 posted on 05/03/2013 11:40:38 PM PDT by Salamander
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To: lastchance
Yep. The guys in this thread that are freaked out over the picture of the worker touching the plastic box are being naive. ALL fruits and veggies should be washed. And if it's “organic” it should be washed twice! My grandfather farmed Silver Queen sweet corn, soy beans, snap peas, greens, and some tobacco over the years and I KNOW you gotta wash your own produce. Produce is not magically grown in sterile hydroponics labs and then washed, polished and packaged like medical equipment. :p Its food. From dirt.
25 posted on 05/04/2013 12:07:51 AM PDT by Casie (democrats destroy)
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To: Route395

Hey I worked in the strawberry fields of WA state as a youngster and was SO glad for the opportunity to gain some income and some clothes I wanted, etc. We kids loved the opportunity to work alongside the migrants who came back every year to work alongside us again. Now no one wants to pick the strawberries and our friends are lost to us, enemies now.
Migrant camps were a way of life and child labor was a way to learn work ethic....no more of either. Migrant camps outlawed so the migrants moved to town and the children became spoiled brats.


26 posted on 05/04/2013 12:49:14 AM PDT by tinamina
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To: tumblindice
Bucking bales of hay with hooks onto a wagon, in August on a ranch, [...]

Of course, you know that the worst part is not loading the bales on to the truck, in the fresh air and sunshine, but rather later unloading them in the barn which you must fill to the rafters - and towards the end crawling on your belly, dragging them in near total darkness, in oven-like heat, in air saturated with dust.

Truly Dantean.

Regards,

27 posted on 05/04/2013 1:01:41 AM PDT by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: Salamander

That picture somehow isn’t too reassuring, is it?

I thoroughly soak and wash all fruits and vegetables anyway, but it does make you think.


28 posted on 05/04/2013 2:23:50 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Salamander

All produce, no matter who picks it, should be washed before consuming, packaged or not. It’s not hard or that time-consuming. As a kid, we lived in Spain, and my mom had to go to the farmers market everyday to get our produce because we didn’t have a refrigerator. She taught me to wash all of our fruits and vegetables in the sink with a little dish soap and then rinsing them to dry before putting them out to eat. I continue that habit to this day, even for packaged produce from the grocery store. My wife and I live in the country in Florida and have a huge garden every year. We wash everything we pick before preparing it to eat, including strawberries, and they are not in packages. And our hands are not “unsanitary”.

I suspect, despite your protestation to the contrary, that your complaint about this practice by Dole to package their strawberries in the field being unsanitary, has more to do with the fact that it is the illegals who pick the fruit who are unsanitary than you want to admit. “Thou doth protest too much.”

Just sayin’......


29 posted on 05/04/2013 3:25:24 AM PDT by HotHunt
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To: Vendome
These guys: http://www.ciw-online.org/

have a problem with the reduction in illegals due to the new laws in southern states. Fewer illegals means less political action on their behalf as in Fewer taco bell boycotts. California's problem can only grow due to the political climate there.

30 posted on 05/04/2013 3:27:11 AM PDT by x_plus_one (John Ransom: truth always resides wherever brave men still have ammunition.)
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To: Route395

We picked cotton from the time we were four or five years old until we left home after high school. Yes, it was hard work. No, it didn’t hurt any of us. In fact, we all worked our way through college and got into the professions so we would not have to do that kind of work all our lives.

Happily, when we left home, our father was able to afford his first mechanical picker to replace us. Strawberry farmers should engineer the fruit so it can be picked mechanically, thus freeing these poor oppressed workers to sit on the porch and wait for their welfare checks.


31 posted on 05/04/2013 4:58:43 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Route395

Need to send this boy to me for a couple of weeks and I’ll introduce him to the oilfield. I’ll start him on a roustabout crew then we’ll hit the pulling unit’s and finish it off with a little drilling rig fun, morning tower. Folks thats boot camp for the oilfields and we all go through it but not many graduate. Long hours of hard and dangerous work.


32 posted on 05/04/2013 5:21:33 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Dusty Road

Sounds really interesting, too. Is the money worth it?


33 posted on 05/04/2013 5:23:02 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: Route395

Need to send this boy to me for a couple of weeks and I’ll introduce him to the oilfield. I’ll start him on a roustabout crew then we’ll hit the pulling unit’s and finish it off with a little drilling rig fun, morning tower. Folks thats boot camp for the oilfields and we all go through it but not many graduate. Long hours of hard and dangerous work.


34 posted on 05/04/2013 5:24:41 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Route395

I think it sounds like fun, I like working and I like working in a team. What else is there to do? I think what they mean by the jobs Americans won’t do is that those who were former slaves have a psychological reaction to field work and won’t do it. I don’t think western culture has a problem with it, where I am from the kids go west into Kansas in the summer and work baling hay or harvesting wheat to earn money for their first cars, those jobs are very physical and dusty. The Hispanics I know and have seen working, work hard—and from hiring various house cleaners, the best ones are Hispanics, very industrious and can get things really clean.


35 posted on 05/04/2013 5:30:17 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Route395

“their fruit”

um, no.


36 posted on 05/04/2013 5:33:43 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: yldstrk

I mean those descended from former slaves


37 posted on 05/04/2013 5:36:49 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Salamander

I remember a story about a guy being put in charge of a farm in Mexico, the first problem he noticed was the laborers were pooping in the field.

He added portapotties.

They still pooped in the fields.

He found out... they didnt know how to use a proper bathroom.

They had to be taught.


38 posted on 05/04/2013 5:37:24 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Future Snake Eater

We have high school drop outs making 60 to 70 thousand their first year into it. Hard dirty and dangerous with long hours and your always exposed to the weather but if you can get about 3 years of this under your belt you’ll make a hand, then some easier jobs become available. In the early 70’s I was pumping 22 wells, working full time with the Sheriffs Dept and going to college. Got my engineering degree and have been working the production side of the business ever since. I’ve tried to retire twice now but they won’t let me, they just offer more money. January 1st 2020 is my offical retirement date, I’ll be 70 and my wife will be 65, then we’re going to have some fun.


39 posted on 05/04/2013 5:39:56 AM PDT by Dusty Road
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To: Dusty Road

How about an IT guy with a Master’s degree, no oil industry experience, doesn’t mind outdoors (used to be an Infantry Soldier)? I should hope I clear minimum wage at least!


40 posted on 05/04/2013 6:47:07 AM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: Route395

Does no one understand the difference between “immigrant” and “illegal immigrant”?


41 posted on 05/04/2013 8:01:11 AM PDT by Temujinshordes (I was asked if I always go armed. I said "no, just where there are people")
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To: Dusty Road

***Folks thats boot camp for the oilfields and we all go through it but not many graduate. Long hours of hard and dangerous work.****

I remember those days in the NW and SE New Mexico gas camps. I was way too young to work then but my dad did.


42 posted on 05/04/2013 8:05:12 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Do we now register our pressure cookers?)
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To: HotHunt

“has more to do with the fact that it is the illegals who pick the fruit who are unsanitary than you want to admit. “Thou doth protest too much.”

Just sayin’......”

Nope.

I’d be creeped out no matter who was touching them just the same as if I was at a deli and saw an employee making my sandwich with bare hands.

Maybe you’re projecting?

Just sayin’.....


43 posted on 05/04/2013 8:32:34 AM PDT by Salamander
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To: GeronL

That’s sad..and gross.


44 posted on 05/04/2013 8:33:00 AM PDT by Salamander
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To: Salamander

it was in the local liberal rag here, it was about doing business in Mexico, front page if I recall


45 posted on 05/04/2013 8:59:24 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: HotHunt
She taught me to wash all of our fruits and vegetables in the sink with a little dish soap and then rinsing them to dry before putting them out to eat

How do you wash lettuce with soap?

46 posted on 05/04/2013 9:17:34 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon ( (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization))
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To: Casie

“Produce is not magically grown in sterile hydroponics labs and then washed, polished and packaged like medical equipment”

Some is. We just have to pay 3x more for it than field grown.


47 posted on 05/04/2013 10:54:01 AM PDT by Rebelbase (1929-1950's, 20+years for full recovery. How long this time?)
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To: HotHunt

I use a vege wash which I put in a spray bottle. Spray the produce then rince with water.
The wash is made with 1 cup water, 1 cup shite vinegar and i T baking soda. Alleviates the use of chemicals (dish soap)on the produce.


48 posted on 05/04/2013 12:47:52 PM PDT by tinamina
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To: HartleyMBaldwin

Wow I started in 1971 at 6 years old and I think it was still only 5cents a hallack... I made $25 that summer and bought myself a go-cart... Then next summer I made enough for the motor.

That is big problem nowdays... No work ethics... Kids cant go work out in the fields because the government says so...


49 posted on 05/04/2013 3:14:50 PM PDT by AzNASCARfan
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To: Billthedrill

Yes, and once in a while the bus driver would stop at the A&W on the way home. No root beer float has tasted better since.


50 posted on 05/04/2013 4:04:55 PM PDT by HartleyMBaldwin
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