Oooooh it’s cold.  Saturday’s frosty kale pic above from Joe’s Market Garden makes me think of all the people who harvest our vegetables at this time of year.  Harvesting fruit is different; before the cold hits all our apples, pears and kiwi that will get us through to stone fruit season have been picked and safely stored away.  Many veggies however, require a weekly harvest. Which means, when we’re shivering just looking out our windows at the frosted grass, somebody is out there in the fields picking our veg.

It’s weeks like these I always think of the worker who draws the beet washing straw down at Joe Sgro’s in Colac. The job is to put hundreds of kilos of beetroots through a cold water washer and then bag them up ready for market. Even with rubber gloves there’s no getting away from painfully numb fingers. Same goes over at Shelley and Craig Heppel’s in Cockatoo for the unlucky person plunging bunched greens into cold, cold water after harvest. And imagine plucking brussels sprouts with bare hands with a kilo of clayey mud stuck to each gumboot at Forrest Herbs down in South Gippsland. 

It’s enough to bring tears to our eyes.  So to honour the frozen fingers of our kale pickers beet washers, brussels browsers and cabbage cutters let’s make this coldest week of the year Veggie Pickers Week.  And maybe on our morning journeys into the world this week if we want to show our solidarity to our picking brothers and sisters, then slip off one glove for a while and whisper a small thanks.     

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