Sunday, January 15, 2012

Peachy Keen

By Kathleen
It's a Musk Lorikeet and it loves peaches and this photo is brought to you by Wikipedia. Thanks wiki!

Another week in the fruit pickers world has gone by quickly. We’re still waiting for the harvest to start in earnest so we’ve been passing time continuing to pick tomatoes and on a couple of days, peaches.

The orchard we’ve been picking for supplies caning peaches for Coco-Cola ( among other fruits). I find it strange to be on this side of the agro-industrial fence given my pro-locavore/organic stances in my own food choices.

I can’t help but think  back to the giant cans of peaches that we had in the campus kitchen. Strange to think how seemingly unrelated things in life tie together. I’ve now worked in the food industry from picking to serving and I am continually amazed at how much food is being wasted.

Blueberries, tomatoes, plums and peaches it makes no matter for every fruit I pick five go on the ground as trash fruit. About half of that is perfectly edible but not esthetically up to par. What’s wrong with us? Isn’t there some seconds market out there? Having come direct from India this waste seems all the more appalling. We don’t realize what a privilege it is to eat well.

Nevertheless, orchard work is interesting and not half as labor intensive as tomatoes. The peaches have a few drawbacks one of them being the itchiness that their fuzz imparts and the other being that they are particularly appealing to birds.

Peaches are a bit harder to pick in some ways as it can be difficult to tell when they are ripe. Half the time you’ll see a group of them on a treetop and think “ oh look bunches of ripe ones”. Then you’ll get your ladder haul it over set it up and climb it with your giant fruit back, only to have it turn out  “nope not at all ripe” or “ way too small”. Peaches are devious.

This week brought another foray with Australian wild things. We stumbled upon a wounded musk lorikeet (we call them parakeets). Or I should say our local roommate spotted it hiding on a tree using its lovely emerald color as camouflage. We managed to grab it and discern that it was hurt before it escaped us.

For several hours we lost it until I stumbled ( literally poor thing) across it. We grabbed it again, put it (nicely) in a box and our roommate brought it to the local vet. Another cool thing about Australia… they have people who volunteer all over to rehabilitate wildlife and they take it every seriously.

So hopefully our lorikeet friend will fly free soon instead of becoming cat food.In the meantime I’m hoping it’s mates will take it’s hospital care as trade for not eating the fruit I want to pick.

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