Tom Rivers cuts cabbage
This weekend, Tom Rivers delivered another in his series of farm work articles for the Daily News.
Again, it's a stunning piece of writing and reporting. We could never summarize if for you in a way that would do it justice. You will need to find a copy of the paper for yourself and read it.
Besides producing a fine article, I admire Tom for sticking with such a physically demanding job under adverse conditions for a full 10 hours.
The article makes the point well that if you like -- as Jack Davis apparently does -- that there are locals ready, willing and able to do this farm work, but they're just being pushed out of the way by immigrants, you're deluded.
Darren, 42, seems a little bewildered by my interest in the job. He can't remember anyone from around here ever wanting to cut cabbage. The farm puts many ads in local newspapers seeking field help, and no locals have even called about a job in at least two decades, Darren said.
Cutting cabbage may not be "skilled" labor as we traditionally define it, but you better have the right muscles and motor skills developed, and have built some level of mental immunity to the demands of the job. This is a job that not just anybody can do. Clearly, farmers can't just hire a crew of anybody off the street and expect to fulfill the tons of orders for their crops.
Rivers is doing a good bit of public service journalism with this series. We wish him well in the appropriate journalism awards competitions.
Of course, what these stories lack are video. We've offered the Daily News help in this regard. So far, they've declined.