Harvest Work - Tomatoes
Tomato picking is the coveted job in Donnybrook because it's physically easy and can go for up to 12
hours a day for seven days a week at about $11 to $12 an hour. The people who don't mind a lot of
work can therefore save loads of money doing tomatoes.
It's easy because you sit on these strange
machines which drive you and a team of 6 or 7 people up and down the rows while you pick the
tomatoes into baskets while seated. At the end of each row, you get up, unload your baskets, and sit back down
again on the machine to repeat it all over again and again and again. Easy, but turns your brain to
However, be aware that not all places use these machines. On many farms in Bundaberg, for example,
I know that the workers pick by hand on contract. This would be my idea of hell. You'd have to go as
fast as you can to make any money at all, and you'd have to push heavy baskets of tomatoes down
the rows with you, wreaking havoc on your back. Sometimes farmers will pay you a wage so you don't
have to kill yourself going as fast, but it's still hard work if you have to physically move the
baskets down the rows.