From the time my siblings and I could follow directions, we were working on the farm. Our Saturdays were spent on the farm working. We did get to play here and there while waiting for the harvested fruit to come in from the fields. Those were some fun and great memories. The memory that sticks in my head is
My mom reminded me that at 3 years old, my youngest sister was already stickering the papayas. As an 8 year old, I was one of the washers who cleaned the fruit before packing. From there I moved on to grading the fruit to some packing. It was hard work!
I want my kids to experience that too so we headed down to the farm today. I already warned them that we were going down there to work and not just play. My older daughter agreed to it since she found out that she could collect recyclables and make some money afterwards.
Today started out with my younger one, KK in awe of all the tractors everywhere on the farm. She saw some at the sales lot a few days ago and kept telling my dad that she wants to ride one. Just look at her face and see the thrill of just sitting on one.
While the fruit was being picked in the fields by my dad’s hard working staff, we were preparing for the packing and processing. Harvesting is done by a forklift as the trees do get pretty tall and this is a much more efficient way to get the work done.
Processing the fruit takes a lot of prep work. That included taping up boxes to pack in, setting up the bins and wash tub to clean the fruit in and setting up the sorting area as well as the final storage area after it was packed up. Our farm complies with all of the food safety certifications and follows the rules very closely with washing the fruit properly as well as handling it as approved. We are food safety certified with a perfect passing score according to my brother, Mike.
After it is prepared, the fruit is then packed up according to size which takes some skill as to packing them properly.
Finally after being packed, these fruits are stickered and palleted.
Tomorrow it will be ready to go out to the stores, restaurants, small markets, and hotels to be sold or served up to their customers. Many of whom come clamoring for it every week for years!
- What can a Farmer do? (hawaiifarmersdaughter.com)