Monday, 8 March 2010

The Pear Season That Was

A while since the last posting, have been deep in the pear picking season, going all extreme once again, starting the days work at around 5am using a "miners" head lamp 'till first light which is now around 6:30am. Pear season has finally come to a welcome end, and once again it's been a strange old season. There has been regular rainfall for one thing, which has been most welcome after around ten years of drought. Indeed there are widespread floods all over eastern Australia.
In a previous post I detailed the situation regarding the rise of labour hire contractors and their preference for employing illegal migrant workers. Mid season the Australian immigration department conducted a "compliance operation" in this area, detaining around 95 Malaysian and Indonesian workers who had overstayed or were in breach of their visa conditions. Within a couple of days of their removal and the departure of immigration officials these workers were replaced by another crew of Malaysians with dubious papers!
As for the pears, the first variety "william" was well down in crop size across the whole district, while the second major variety "packham" was an excellent crop, and with all the rain much of the fruit was large sized, infact there was alot of oversize fruit which can't be packed - not good for the farmer but no complaints from the pickers!
Apples are yet to start, so I'm off to New Zealand for a few days.