AG Watch

Field workers welcome cooler temps

Monday, June 24, 2013

The overcast conditions around the Valley on Monday were welcomed by those who work Valley fields.

Maria Martinez makes a living picking blueberries in Caruthers. Maria said the cool start made for a much easier day because normally the heat hits early in the morning.

Martinez explained, "It's not cool. You can feel it like it hits you, you're like the time feels slower."

Beatrice Martinez of Fresno also picks blueberries. She enjoyed the cloud cover but worried the skies might open up. Not a good thing because you can't pack wet fruit.

Beatrice said, "It was nice. It was kind of weird. I thought it was going to rain. I didn't expect the sun to come out now. I'm glad it didn't rain because if it rains then we don't work."

Mark Sorensen of Caruthers sells his blueberries at the farmers market at Shaw and Blackstone in north Fresno as well as farmers markets in the Bay Area. His on-site fruit stand has closed for the season.

Sorensen says it's nice to see the crew catch a brief break from the intense heat.

Sorensen said, "Yes it's very nice to have cooler weather because we know the triple digits are coming so it will be nice to get the fruit off before that happens as well."

Despite the warm conditions Maria and Beatrice bundle up to protect against sunburn. They'd much rather have a string of cooler days.

Maria said, "Yeah I prefer it like this because I don't like the three digits. I can feel the humid. It's really icky."

Harvest crews noticed a lot of green blueberries still forming... so there is still plenty of work to be done at this farm.

Sorensen said, "By this Friday we'll be picking it again and what you see here turning color is a larger, blue blueberry."

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