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Fruit picking in Canada

Travel Forums North America Fruit picking in Canada

1. Posted by SalFrog (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey Hey Everyone,

Can anyone help me out with websites and infomation on fruit picking jobs in Canada?

We will be in Vancouver from the end of July for at least 6 months and are looking at fruitpicking as a possible line of work for the first few months while we are there. I know most fruit picking seasons finish at the end of August, but I have read on a few websites that apple picking can go until the end of October.

I would like to hear from anyone who has done this sort of work before. I understand that it is very labour intensive, and long hours are needed to gain a decent amount of money, but both my boyfriend and I are very fit and are not afraid of hard work. What is a reasonable amount of money that can be expected at the end of a working day? Is there sometimes accomodation provided?

Thanks in advance to all those that post a reply.

Salfog :)

2. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Two main locales-the Fraser Valley where the work is completely dominated by South Asians and no one else need apply.

The Okanagan/Similkameen Valleys where years past some French Canadians used to work now orchardists prefer to hire Mexicans-better workers, no complaining and used to spending long hot hours labouring.

There are still some camps around but the scene is rough-lots of crime/hard drug use and consequently pickers have a poor reputation with locals.

You could try tree planting but there's little money in it the first year.

Wish I had better news for you but your business model is something of an antique.

3. Posted by SalFrog (Budding Member 22 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your advice Sam.

I have done a fair bit of research on the internet and the Okaganan Valley seems to be what pops up mostly for fruit picking in British Columbia, but I must admit I had no knowledge of the crime + drug use in this industry. Thanks for the heads up.

I am curious as to what you mean by my business model being something in an antique. Is this type of work not pursued by migrants much anymore? From the amount of information I have found on the web, with numous companies offering 'camps' as you said, I thought it was still a much - used form of seasonal work?

My cousin did a stint of tree planting for a year in Canada and said it was pretty low pay - so we probably will give that a miss.

You seem to have a plethora of knowledge and information at your fingertips, I have seen many of your replies to many different posts and it seems your knowledge is never ending! I am curious, have you spent most of your life travelling?

Thanks for the info, :)


4. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I am curious as to what you mean by my business model being something in an antique. Is this type of work not pursued by migrants much anymore?

Even simpler-there are next to no migrants at all anymore the Glory Days of the 60's & 70's are gone replaced by a cruder reality, people living/sleeping rough are seen by many as threats to society.

As to crime a friend of mine was assaulted in downtown Osoyoos when she interrupted a criminal who was breaking into her car, this same criminal was camped in one of the tweaker/fruit picker camps outside of town.

The offers you see on the net are probably from agents looking to take a cut somehow that's the net for you.

In some places in the Okanagan be prepared to see signs in many places detailing who businesses will allow onto their premises and who they will not, also be prepared to breathe a lot of chemicals, it's the OK Valley's dirty little secret that the air quality is often horrific and people are regularly hospitalised especially in hot weather because they breathed the fumes from pesticide, herbicide or fungicide spray-this happened to a friend of mine who was fishing a local lake and ended up ingesting something nasty.

If you're serious you'll find some work but it's never steady and the money is poor.

A tragedy not unique to the OK Valley is that there's more money in condominiums than fruit-many orchards have been bulldozed for land development.

Also vineyards have replaced orchards as well-that might be an avenue for you to explore-not just picking but general labour.

Good Luck!

5. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Why has Canadian wine never taken off in Europe?? It has some of the world's finest.

6. Posted by Math345 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I don't know from where does sam takes his information... but I agree it is pretty alarming...

I went cherry picking two years ago and what I lived had nothing to do with what he describes... I'm also planning on going back this summer and it doesn't look as if that much orchards have closed...

I also have heard about the crime and drugs, but it all depends on where you wanna go work... If you go in small places there are some chances you won't be treated right... But over all, if you try to find a place where you can make money and have fun, it doesn't look that hard to find...

If I can suggest you one place it's kalwood farms (250)548-3513... It's really REALLY beautiful... you can work there from about the 18th of july to the 24th of august...

Anyways, I'd say, don't get your spirit down and try and go there... From the people I know and from what I lived there... If you juste go, ask around a bit, maybe go and see place where they help you find work, you'll find something interesting in no time!

By the way, sorry for my errors, I'm not anglophone...

[ Edit: Edited on 09-Jun-2009, at 14:19 by Math345 ]

7. Posted by SalFrog (Budding Member 22 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the posive reply Math 345.

I will definately check out kalwood farms, sounds great.

Happy Travelling


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