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If you are strong of will and determination, becoming a fruit picker might be the job for you. Farmers are in search of good workers who can help them complete a harvest during a specific time depending on the type of crop.
Blueberry picking season occurs between December and April. During this time of year, farmers are seeking dependable workers who can withstand the season and help harvest their crops.
This is not a job for just anyone, which is why you should consider whether you fit the requirements before seeking this type of job. It can be repetitive, which is good for consistency, yet demanding as any other labour intensive job.
Physical Endurance, Health and Strength
The ability to lift and carry a certain amount is a given for the job. To accomplish this, you are required to be strong enough to pick up and carry a set load of blueberries that have been picked. As a reliable member of the team, you are expected to be in good health, so that you do not miss any days or become ill while performing your duties.
Blueberry pickers are paid per piece, meaning that you will be paid by the amount you’ve picked. To get paid as much as you possibly can, having stamina and strength is to your advantage. It is also an attractive quality in a candidate as you will stand out as a productive worker who’ll help meet the farm’s harvesting goals for the season.
Good Work Ethic, Reliability
To meet the goals of the farmer, workers are expected to show up on time each day. As a picker, you have to follow the guidelines and rules that will include punctuality, quota, safety, and behavior protocols. The hours that you work should be productive without distraction or deviation from meeting the day’s goal.
Your safety is a top priority for farmers, supervisors, and fellow workers. You will find that farms have set rules and regulations when it comes to safety protocols. Pickers are expected to follow these rules to protect them from harm, as well as protect other workers from possible injuries.
Ability to Work in Outdoor Conditions
According to an account from an experienced blueberry picker, temperatures can reach 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. As a candidate for this position, you would be expected to withstand the outdoor elements, no matter the conditions. You’ll want to be prepared for this and willing to meet this with no problem.
Even if there is in-climate weather, you are required to work. You will likely be supplied with equipment to protect you from the elements and help you accomplish your duties.
Be Reliable, Fast and Consistant
Farmers have a specific amount of blueberries they must sell each year. Farms are expected to reach a quota before the end of the season. Each day that you work, you want to pick the required amount of blueberries to help meet this goal in a timely fashion.
Again, your speed and consistency can result in higher earnings for you. You can expect to spend hours picking blueberries, so you must have the ability to keep up speed at a consistent rate. The faster you are, the more berries you can pick, and then the more money you are able to earn.
Attentive to Details
The integrity of the crop is a top priority for farmers. You must be able to observe and preserve the quality of the blueberry and the bush it grows on. You’ll learn to determine which blueberries are of the best quality, unblemished and free of damage, and to be included in your bunch.
As you pick the berries, be careful not to harm the bush or disturb it in any way that would stop it from producing. With each pick, you have to determine whether it’s ready to be picked and protect its quality. Then, you must keep the plant unharmed so that it can be used to further produce blueberries.
All jobs come with some of the same requirements; be a good worker, be reliable, be consistent. Being a fruit picker comes with its own, which is necessary to produce a healthy, bountiful harvest each year.
Being a blueberry picker comes with many positives, including camaraderie and a connection with nature. Another benefit is working in a safe environment, helping to harvest quality blueberries.
For more information about being a part of a blueberry picking team this season, visit the Agri Labour Australia website to learn more.