Phantoms in the fields: Mexican workers drawn to harvest California crops, despite hardships and talk of a wall

Phantoms in the fields: Mexican workers drawn to harvest California crops, despite hardships and talk of a wall

by Mark Arax, via The Sacramento Bee

There’s a stretch of Highway 99 in the middle of California where the new plantings of almonds at last give way to vineyards. This is where Selma, raisin capital of the world, still lives and dies by the grape. When the berries sugar up fast, as they have this year, harvest comes early.

The season finds the farmer at his most sour, contemplating an age-old question: Can enough workers be rounded up to pick the crop? He knows from empirical evidence that few citizens of the United States are willing to do the work. He knows that Selma’s salvation lies across the border.

When a grape grower plows under his father’s vines and plants almonds, he doesn’t speak of heartache or profit or pests or the need to save water. The reason, he’ll plainly tell you, is labor. A nut doesn’t require a hand to pick it. Because a machine does all the work, nothing bleeds in an almond orchard. The grape harvest, on the other hand, remains a race against rot: man against sky, man against fruit, man against man.

Read more of the article, click here.

TLB source The Cornucopia Institute where you can read more about family farming.

About the writer: Mark Arax, author of “West of the West,” is working on a book about California’s water wars, to be published by Knopf. Contact him at: mark.arax@sbcglobal.net.

[Pictorial content added by TLB]

 

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

TLB has other above the fold articles, videos and stories available by clicking on “HOME” at the top of this post. Never miss a new post, sign up for E-Mail alerts at the bottom of the Home page and get a link dropped right to your in-box.

TheLibertyBeacon.com contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

2 Comments on Phantoms in the fields: Mexican workers drawn to harvest California crops, despite hardships and talk of a wall

  1. What about the high school students and college aged students needing jobs to transition them from a generation of snowflakes who get their first job after graduating college (and are disapointed they didn’t get hired as CEO) to a generation like the baby boomers and generations prior? I live in the area, and I know there ARE legal residents who want those jobs but can’t keep them because they don’t speak spanish and are pushed out.

  2. Let their grapes rot. Its the farmers fault for taking advantage of
    illegal aliens hardship. Its called cheap labor. I am American and will work your fields but you wont hire me because you say no others will do the the job. Why not hire some homeless Americans who need a second chance in life you greedy UnAmerican POS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


%d bloggers like this: