Your First Summer Work in the UK - Picking Strawberries The Right Way

Most jobs on farms in the UK involve picking strawberries or berries in general, raspberries and possibly other berries with which I have not have the lucky chance to pick.

Picking strawberries is very demanding and hard work and if this being your first summer job, then it will take lots of patience and clear mind. You might be picking in tunnels, which has an advantage of you being able to stand, on the other hand, tunnels are hot as you would expect, and you will have to endure that for you to pick. Tunnels are usually picked in the early mornings and this is being done quickly so that you do not have to stand the mid day or afternoon heat.

After finishing the tunnels, pickers ususally move to the fields. This is probably the most common seasonal work in England on farms. It also involves all types of associated work such as pruning, straw laying around the plants,planting. Most of the work is piecework and you will be paid for every box that you pick. A box is made of punnets. Punnets have different colors usually and can be for first class or second class strawberries. Obviously the first class strawberries are the ones with the nice shape and no white parts, evenly red. Second class are the rest except green ones, which you need to leave on the plants for further picking later.

When picking in the fields, the work involves moving a rack infront of you, or behind you, depending on your technique, which will contain the boxes. Once you fill the boxes you will need to take them down to your supervisor for checking. You probably get your card punched for what you have picked.

It is in your best interest not to put in the punnets any green strawberries, leafes, straw, etc. The supervisors will find out and you will loose all your box. Not worth it. You will have a bad day and loose your concentration as well, which is most important with this type of summer job. Best of luck and do not worry, eat some of those strawberries, because they will all be picked eventually.

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Written by Marian Bridik, Aston Ltd. / Farmhands Service

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