I’m getting flashbacks to the Mango season in Australia. It’s been the worst season for kiwi’s in 45 years – we’re nearly halfway through the season and the fields are failing left and right. From what I understand, sugar levels in the fruit have to hit a certain point, which can only be achieved through a cold snap. As it’s been an unbelievably hot and wet season, that cold snap hasn’t happened, and farmers have fields of kiwi that can’t be harvested. We’ve actually been dropped from Bob, and been flitted around from boss-to-boss trying to find anyone whose actually managed to pass. Everyone in the hostel is in the same boat – nobody has work. As of this point, I’ve moved from 3 employers – only one of which has actually had work for me, before the hostel moved us into a one-day emergency shift for an employer who didn’t have enough people. I and another girl actually liked this employer a lot more than the one we were hesitantly with (honestly assumed he would drop us once the trial period was over because we couldn’t keep up with the picking machines in our group) so when he asked if we’d liked to come over to him full time, we agreed, and left our current group to work for Sohrab. Our team now consists of me, Krislin, Arvid and Dennis (Sweden and Japan respectively).
Sohrab is mostly contracted just out of Te Puke, and the orchards are huge. On the plus side, the orchards are really well maintained and they have the good bags. We’ve also got a pretty good supervisor, a man called Charles who is pretty easy to get along with. The last 4 days we’ve had work (halleluyah!), but it hasn’t been perfect. A good chunk of it is more select picking (I hate it! Give me strip picking any day), and we’ve only had 5 hours each time. Yesterday saw us leaving after only 3. Given that so much of the season has already passed, we were hoping for longer hours. Fingers crossed that next week the season picks up and we get some 8-12 hour shifts to really make a profit. If it keeps up with the dinky hours might see about transferring into the pack houses.