If you follow me on Instagram or TikTok, you’ll know I’ve spent lockdown working…on a farm. When I unexpectedly returned home from the UAE, I was left unemployed, £1500 down on flights (which I am still yet to received refunds on), and a little bit lost. After my two weeks isolation, I started looking for work and found the job at the farm, advertised on facebook and thought ‘why not!?’. Here I am nearly three months later, still there and it’s been a busy few months.
The past few months we’ve been harvesting asparagus, and now that season has ended, we’ve moved onto raspberry picking. Definitely, the better and more delicious product, out of the two. I found the asparagus picking really intense on my knees, especially with having JHS. But, Rich and Ronnie (my managers/farm owners) are amazing and will do anything they can to help. Like sending me off to do raspberry maintenance, to give my knees a rest. Raspberries are SO much less physically demanding for sure.
‘I was hallucinating asparagus’
The conversation around British people working on farms during the covid-19 pandemic has been all over the media, and has included press visiting the farm a lot too. This includes Channel 5’s ‘This Week on the Farm’, and a video call interview I did with the BBC on my experience of picking, and the realities of the work. Including my famous last words of ‘I was hallucinating asparagus’ (I think the nerves got to me!). This all came about from a little video compilation TikTok I posted looking back at the season so far, and the BBC report has now had hundreds of thousands of views across their social channels. The report explains what we do in much more detail, be sure to give it a watch, it’s linked below (whilst I cringe at myself).
@natali3hans0nYour asparagus picking ##keyworkers 🌱🚜☀️ – ok it’s been a laugh ##supportsmallbusinesses ##fyp ##foryoupage ##farmlife @emilypackerr @jowwwdaaaan♬ Just Got Paid – Sigala, Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor , French Montana
Like I said, working on the farm can be physically hard, and the tasks are often monotonous. But, it has definitely made me appreciate the labour that is usually fulfilled by Eastern European workers. Despite the hard work, the ‘2020 covid-crew’, will be a group of people I will never forget. We’ve all come from very different backgrounds, and all have different reasons to why we’ve ended up at the farm. Nonetheless, it’s been fun and I am very grateful for the work during the ~weird~ times we’ve been through after the last 3 months, and the new normalities we are having to work with.
I would definitely recommend everyone to work on a farm at some point, whether it be for a full season or just trying it for a few days a week. I think from this point forward British farmers, will be more enthusiastic in seeking a British workforce every year, and it is a great opportunity to be involved in. From Monday, I’m reducing my hours at the farm, as I’ve got a full-time summer camp job commencing, but still helping out at the farm when I can. I am so grateful for Ronnie and Rich, and everyone I’ve met at the farm. This job will always have a special place in my heart, and I’ll have many memories to look back on in the future.
Have you read my previous post? – Achieving Calm During Lockdown – The Importance of a Relaxing Bedroom*
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