|Domingo & Manuel planting Strawberries with Ben. July 2011.|
Though we are a very small farm, I feel it important for our side to be told. Now, I do recognize how different we are from other farms. Ben, his mother and I are very active doing all the jobs the Mexican guys do. We all work together on a typical day. This is to say that I feel we have a more personal connection with our men, as there are only 3 of them, not 60 or 100+. I personally would feel intimidated managing a large crew, especially considering I don't speak the language and would most certainly need to hire a 'labour manager'. I cannot speak for nor defend the large farms. We pride ourselves in being a small micro family farm operating under 100 acres and act to serve as a tiny beacon for other small farms looking to make the switch from conventional to organic. That being said, we are still a business and need good, reliable employees. The magic word being 'reliable'.
Each year from June/July through to November our farm employs 3 men from Mexico to work weeding, picking, grading, sorting, washing & packing our organic produce. They are incredible people and the most reliable, efficient and hard working individuals. We have made the decision that we will no longer farm unless we can hire these workers each year. Generally speaking over the years we have not had a problem finding various willing workers or volunteers that are more local, however they are never reliable, never last, and do not do the job half as well as the Mexicans. The few years our farm did not employ the Mexican's the farm was a hot mess. This is our livelihood. There is no time for playing around when we typically have half a year to work the fields and make our living.
|Domingo and Manuel harvesting Garlic. 2011.|
|Our bunkhouse kitchen.|
|One bedroom in our bunkhouse.|
|Ben, Miguel, Domingo and Manuel in the Leek patch.. 2011|
|Manuel and Domingo experiencing SNOW for the first time! 2010.|