Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This article from the Reuters blog mentions a pre-election conversation the Vice Presidential candidate had with a Pennsylvania apple grower, in which the Alaska governor assumes his biggest worry must be Chinese imports. But in truth the grower is more concerned about Washington State apples, which represent 60% of the apples grown in the U.S. The Pennsylvania orchardist expressed concern that he could not find enough migrant labor to pick the harvest, and no other local workers could be found who would do it.
The comments this article sparks, about immigration and migrant labor, among other things, is interesting.
In other related news, this video from BBC.com looks at a similar labor shortage in Europe during crucial periods of fruit harvesting.
This article details the history of migrant labor and fruit harvests in Washington State. And, from 2006, an artic le on the importance of migrant labor in the NY State apple harvest, in Poughkeepsie.
I am of the opinion that jobs should be given to whoever needs them, and in this case, whoever wants them. What troubles me is that, with such high levels of unemployment is so many areas, how is it that people are unwilling to pick apples for a living? I honestly believe one reason we have been looking at the erosion of small farm concerns in this country is that people just don't see this kind of work as proper employment any more. If it's not in an office or a shopping mall, it's somehow not worthy of us. This is silly. What happened to good, honest, physical labor? And what better work is there than growing healthy food?
BTW, the new blog image is from Flickr photographer LinnMarr:
planted by Peg at 10:58 PM