Lettuce Farming - Saturdays
Pinjarra Travel Blog› entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
Finally Saturday rolls around. They are all easy days really, once you get past the relative shock of the early morning and cool bite in the air before the sun comes up. I confess I don't always do brilliantly at the early morning malarkey. I can get up for 6am at home, but when the ambient temperature in the caravan is 15 degrees lower than the cosy warmth curled up in the dooner, it's hard to be enthused about getting dressed up in overalls and tramping down to the fields to cut lettuces. The problem is that I know full well they can cope without me, and it is only moral obligation and guilt that acts as motivation. Consequently I am, like clockwork, always half an hour late for work than I really ought to start. Well, that was until Dave had to cut his morning hands Jeff & Marg, and now I run The Pack with our new Korean WWOOFers Wigi & Hun. I confess I rather enjoy managing it, knowing what has to be done, what needs now to be picked, what next to do, & I secretly enjoy delegating my less favourite jobs to the newbies while I finish off the packing, clearing up & sweeping. Although to be fair, there is really only one job I really don't enjoy and that's checking the reticulation for blockages & only because it's the last job after everything else before you knock off which will consequently be carried out in the full heat of the day. I don't mind picking out the stumps after the pick either; I pull the best remaining lettuce leaves off the stump & drop those in a basket, & pull the stump out of the channel & drop it between the tables to the ground. The leftover leaves we feed to the chooks & roosters & they cluck & wobble around the piles contentedly.
The remaining day is spent either flat-out on the bed in the caravan stickily napping through the heat, or reading on a blanket under a tree letting the cool breeze take some of the heat off. I lay in the dappled light of the waving tree above & ward off the industrious ants that march across my blanket with a witch's circle of Aerogard & fall asleep to the lazy buzz of insects, the shrill of the crickets & the motherly clucking of the hens next door. Ostentiably I am relaxed but really I am waiting impatiently for the minutes to tick round to 3pm when I shower, dress in my clean 'city' clothes & toddle back to Perth by train to be delivered to the waiting arms of Prince Charming who with his fun & frolics makes me forget what an ordeal the farm can feel at times.