The Picking Process
Picking mushrooms is incredibly tedious, mind numbingly boring, dirty, and with extremes of temperature to work in. Sometimes it is way too hot to work comfortably; especially when the harvest is finishing (after the 8 week cycle), the last day of the last flush or last harvest, where the temperatures are raised to be almost unbearable and other times the rooms are cooled to slow a harvest down.
Just picture this: – wielding a knife and climbing up and down ladders, to reach a platform. So here you are standing on a platform 4 meters in the air, using a winch to move up and down the platforms. To move along the face of the frames you pull yourself and your platform along by grabbing the frames supports and pulling. The whole platform is on runners hanging off the top of the frame. The winch allows you to lift your own weight and the weight of boxes of mushrooms.
On one side there are seven 4 kilo boxes on a stand connected to the platform, balancing one on top of the other and empty boxes underneath them.
Once a box is full and presented nicely with all the buttons sitting carefully in the boxes with no marks or dirt on them, the picker lifts the box turns and places the box on the floor of the platform to be taken away by floor staff that collect full boxes and return with empty boxes. The floor staff also empty and fill buckets as well.
A 20 kilo bucket is held in between the pickers legs in which to place the stalks of the mushrooms into and that is how one spends the day. Straddling a bucket, cutting stalks, reaching arms length across the mushroom beds and twisting, to place full boxes to the left side on top of each other.
This is a revolting job that is more soul destroying than being in a production line of chicken boners or apple packers, and where you are working in semi darkness from 7am to sometimes 6 in the evening. In my view, the sooner this job is automated the better.
My comments relate to the mushroom farm where I was employed and may be different at other farms. The workers are segregated so that men and women don’t work together, men and women don’t have breaks together either, they are taken at separate times.
The rooms are artificially lit but there are glimpses of daylight and of course there is the ten minute morning break and half an hour for lunch where you can sit outside and enjoy eating your lunch away from the smell of the mushroom compost, which is made of pig poo, chicken poo and straw. The smell is gut wrenching and the truck with this vile concoction arrives every Wednesday. The management calls it the money truck and its arrival brings the smell of money.
Unfortunately there isn’t much scope for learning at this mushroom farm and ear phones are banned, as one girl learnt her university lessons while working at the farm, so the management decided they would not pay for someone to better themselves so that they could leave and banned all personal players.
It is with the greatest relief and excitement that I now embark on an affiliate marketing business. I have witnessed the transformation in thinking of others who are taking this opportunity and the same vision has become my reality too.
I leave mushroom picking behind, and embark on a journey to independence and learning. I just signed up for an internet connection. Now I am working from home, I am my own boss but I am not going to stop myself learning growing and achieving and having fun working from home.
Affiliate marketing offers the flexibility and scope for any possibility that you can imagine work life can be. I am turning that imagining into reality. I am enjoying a lifestyle I once only dreamt of and this success is for everyone and anyone who wants to live their lives differently.