From the I-learn-something-every-day category: Comfort is not the only reason why cherry harvest workers start so early in the morning.
Most of us know that pickers start their day well before sunrise and finish about noon or 1 p.m. I always assumed they just wanted to avoid the heat because nobody likes to work when it’s hot out.
Also, I figured there was some sort of unwritten ethical code that farmers had to work through obscene hours of the morning or they would be labeled as un-American.
Turns out the trees are more cooperative early, too. Stems detach from limbs easier in the cool of the morning, says Helen Reddout, a Granger cherry orchardist. She would know. She tells me she’s been growing cherries for 60 years.
At 5 a.m., a little twist and they pop right loose.
As the day warms up, the sap flows through the trees and those stems become more elastic, making them harder for the nimble, skilled fingers of the workers to snap loose.
So, everybody starts early and gets the afternoon off.
Even the trees.