It’s 5:30am and the alarm is ringing for another early start. By the time 6:30am comes, you’re wide awake, freezing but ready to pick as many plums as humanly possible before the heat kicks in.
After housesitting in Young, we headed north to a farm just outside Orange where you could camp for free and pick plums for $2 a box. It doesn’t sound great but we wanted to make some money so we had some guilt free spends in Sydney.
This was the first time Emma and I had worked together and we teamed up to try and fill as many 8kg boxes of plums as we could. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a little more tricky than we thought. The plums had to be of a certain size with the stalks left on. It was almost impossible to keep the stalks on at first. We must have been slow as we only managed 48 boxes on our first day in about eight hours.
There were a few other people there starting at the same time as us. Two French girls lasted about an hour before leaving and a proper Australian couple from Lightning Ridge stayed about three days before an insane argument saw them packing up and leaving. We heard that the guy (40) dropped his girlfriend (24) off in a town in the middle of nowhere and took the cheque for himself. Needless to say that cheque was cancelled.
We spent seven days working flat out up and down ladders picking plums and I worked three hours in the packing shed and we made $700. Not fantastic, not minimum wage but when you’re outgoings are so low it doesn’t really matter.
We’re hoping that we’ll be able to pick up fruit picking work as and when we are running low on physical cash and we should, fingers crossed, make it all the way round Australia.