Posted by: TheAuthor | 17/01/2011

Entrance to the field

I have many fond memories revolving around my first ever job, a break into the working world.

At the age of 15 I was given a job at a local fruit farm, with the job of picking fruit. Countless varieties;  Gooseberries; loganberries; raspberries; blackberries; strawberries; and even asparagus (I know it’s not a fruit by the way). I spent two years there, before the farm was to close. I was kept on with a single other colleague with the task of pulling up chosen bushes, with the aid of a tractor and a set of chains. Awesome for a young lad I can tell you. One of us would back the tractor up, with the other roping the chain around the bush ready to pull up the unsuspecting plant.

Long days, in the searing heat of an English July, were spent hunched over, inching your way along picking strawberries. Back breaking work, one that puts some perspective into your mind about people performing that task for a living. Even still, I was earning 60GBP on average a day. A lot of money for a 15-year-old, riding his bike to work at weekends. At the beginning and end of the crop season, we would need to rake in (or out) straw throughout the entire length of the strawberry patches – for ease on the knees.

I would cherish riding my bike to work, free as a bird, in the summer. The winter drew very dreary days and weren’t very enjoyable in comparison. Often taking a pack lunch and sitting in the field with my compadre’s, chewing the cud over the weeks events. The times taught me a lot about people, work and earning money.

In the winter, as fruit was out of season for the most part, we would have to prepare the farm for the winter. Days of pruning the bushes back and removing the branches, into a trailer pulled by the tractor, were spent in mud and damp conditions. They certainly taught a great deal of how man lives off of the natural world and how to culture the crops, to foster a good season.

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