Summer in BC’s Okanagan valley means lots of sun, sweet, pitted fruit, and fun-loving tourists. Many young adventurers and budget travellers come from across Canada to experience BC, and make some cash as fruit pickers. It’s almost a rite of passage in some circles; funding your travels with a bit of seasonal labour is a great way to live off the land.
Make your trip to Lotusland a success and ensure you know what you’re getting into, and how to do so safely.
Are you a good fruit picker?
- You love stuffing your face with cherries, peaches, apricots, and other orchard fruits.
- You like getting up early; fruit is best picked in the cooler morning temperature.
- You like camping. It’s BYOT (bring your own tent) at most sites, with the occasional access to washrooms.
- You’re not afraid of heights; you’ll have an intimate relationship with a ladder.
- You’re okay with being paid by-the-bucket. You won’t make much at first ($80 a day), but you’ll get better with time (up to $200 a day).
- You like hot weather, lakes and meeting people in the great outdoors.
Know before you go:
- If you’re from outside Canada, make sure you get a working holiday permit and don’t forget travel insurance for Visitors to Canada.
- If you’re travelling outside your home province, beware that not all medical emergency costs are paid for by your provincial health plan. Make sure you have travel medical insurance; it’s especially wise as you’ll be a physical labourer. Many Canadians aren’t aware that you need travel insurance even within Canada, or what your provincial healthcare actually covers within Canada. Be prepared for unexpected misadventures.
- Keep it on the books: the BC Cherry Association follows BC labour laws, and ensures temporary workers are treated fairly. They’re a great resource to get started.
Happy travels, and enjoy the cherries!