|Our canastas are plastic but they also have natural ones. We have a number of little natural ones that we use to put fruits and vegetables in at home. Someday I hope to have a natural one to use for picking. It looks like they are made with a vine somewhat like a grape vine but I am not sure and could not find any relevant information.|
|Don is holding up suckers to give us a boost. Picking is difficult, especially at this time of year. Much of the coffee is still green and we want only the red berries picked. The process of picking is a three stage process. The first and last pickings are the slowest and least productive while the middle one produces the bulk of the coffee. |
|At the end of the day the coffee is measured. Each picker has his own sack or sacks of coffee and gets paid per Cojuelo, the metal box pictured here. Each Cojuelo is worth 1,000 Colonies, approximately $2.00. Jeffrey is setting things up ready to see what each person picked.|
|The coffee has been measured and is now being tied shut ready to be put in the back of the Galloper. At this time we are not picking enough to require our trailer. |
|Loading up to go to the recibidora where the coffee is measured once again! The person working at the recibidora measures how many Cojuelos we have brought. It takes 20 Cojuelos to make a Fenaga and we are paid by the Fenaga. The price is not always the same and is actually set by the market in Brazil. |
|Packed up and ready to go. Everyone climbs in and off we go!|
Don has decided that he is not fond of picking and has plenty of other things to keep him busy. I like picking but I have a lot of respect for full time pickers. They start their day at 6:00 a.m. and work until 3:00 p.m. with a heavy basket of coffee strapped around them all day and do the same thing the next day. Their week is 6 days long, although a little shorter, 12:00 noon, on Saturday. On the other hand, because we only have one vehicle I walk to the finca and work from about 9:00 a.m. (6:00 is a little early for me) until 3:00 p.m. and then walk home as the car is full of coffee and pickers. Actually, I love the walk! I get to see all kinds of interesting birds, butterflies, flowers and you just never know what!! Unfortunately, 5 miles a day is rough on my feet and I'm only good for 4 days of picking! What a light weight!!