A day in the blueberry field
By The Berry That Cares On October 10, 2017

“During peak season I usually fill four buckets all the way up in an hour,” says harvester Perseveranda Martínez while she carefully pulls a blueberry off of a bountiful bush. Like many other women working in the fields, Perseveranda comes from the district of Tayabamba, located about 340 kilometers southeast from Trujillo, Perú. “Fifteen years ago I came to visit El Chao and never left."

Like Perseveranda, many of the harvesters that work in our fields come from the highlands of La Libertad. We enjoy spending time with our team members in the fields and learning about their day-to-day experiences. When walking along the elongated rows of blueberry bushes it is hard to resist the temptation of rolling a perfectly plump berry off the stem and trying its flavorful taste. “You have to do it with love,” jokes one of the young women who sidles up as she sees us pulling a berry. We've already learned that ripe berries are deep blue with a dusting of gray in the surface so we only take those.

As soon as we wave goodbye to the harvesters and walk into a new row, we meet Diana Inga Yupanqui who has a pair of earphones plugged in her ears. For a moment she seems immersed in her own world. But then she sees us and takes out her earphones, letting us hear the tunes of the joyful ballad playing. After a short chat she tells us that listening to music while picking ripe berries in the fields helps her in her everyday routine. “Sometimes I even sing,” she says. “My team teases me all the time.”

Diana tells us about how she came to our company several years ago. Every day, she wakes up before dawn and is ready to work in the fields as soon as the sun comes up. “My father would tell me the story of how this land used to be an empty arid desert,” she says. “When I was born, some of these green fields were already developing. Later it occurred to me that I could work here.” Like the rest of the pickers, Diana has a story that bonds her to this land.

We follow her until it’s almost five o'clock. The working day is practically over and the sun slowly sinks behind El Chao’s deserted mountains. It’s time to leave the fields and let nature take its course, at least until the sun rises once again.

There’s nothing more satisfying than grabbing a handful of fresh berries and knowing they come straight off the bush. But a blueberry’s journey from field to table requires more than just a skillful hand. A few factors attribute to our product being as plump and fresh as it is.
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