I’ve been spending the past week in the blueberry field pulling up lots of wild raspberry bushes and various other plants that are growing amount the blueberry bushes to not only help the bushes but also to make picking for others an enjoyable experience. As I work in the field I have fond memories of picking blueberries with my mother.
One summer in Oregon my mom and I got paid to pick blueberries. I was too young to get a regular job but wanted to earn some money so to the blueberry field we went. It was a meager amount, possibly 60 cents a pound. There we were among migrant workers. It was very difficult. We had a few incidents that at the time were very frustrating.
Everyday we would bring a lunch and put it in an area with a picnic table and it got stolen once and then we always just left it in the car. Also as pickers we were told to pick an entire row clean before we could move onto another row. The people running the field would come and check the row before allowing you to move on. The worst was when they told us we didn’t pick the row clean and that we had to go back over the row again. This just made the picking seem like it was taking forever. Another time our full bucket of blueberries fell on the ground in the grass. If the people in charge saw the blueberries on the ground they would make us pick them up off the ground which was nearly impossible so my mom and I actually covered them up and took the bucket (probably $3 worth of blueberries) as a loss.
Even with all the frustrations and low wages. I still love blueberries and love picking them. The time I spent with my mom was invaluable and I would never trade it for anything.