Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lack of Labor for Fruits and Vegetables

The NYTimes has a nice article on the problems facing NY fruit and vegetable growers (yes, NY state is more than the Big Apple, lots of small apples and even some cabbage grown in Ontario County and points west, where my paternal grandmother grew up) because of lack of labor.

One dairy farmer bit the bullet and spent over $1 million for 4 robot milkers. (He has 700 cows.) Much of the problem is twofold--natives won't work for the wages farmers can pay and immigrant labor is uncertain, given the hype over closing the borders, etc. Unfortunately, while organic farms can attract "interns" (meaning low paid, unskilled labor) by providing psychic benefits, the run of the mill fruit or dairy farm can't. Just not that many suckers born. (Sorry--it's warm and humid today and my temper is uncertain, I don't really mean to be mean to the young who believe in saving the world by veggies and organic labor.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has an article on the problems with empty houses in the suburbs--abandoned due to foreclosures. No explicit link in the article to the crackdown on immigrants, but I make that link. Of course, many believers in organics are anti-globalism, which in my mind means anti-immigrants. A tangled web, indeed.

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