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Pickers – Orange You Glad It’s Him Pickin’ and Not YOU!

Are they pickin’ and grinnin’?  No – not that kind of pickin’.  Nor are they picking out real bargains like the American Pickers on tv.  I just happened on a man as he was picking oranges.   I see pickers all the time because I live here in the midst of orange grove heaven.  But I’ve always been hustling and bustling somewhere.  This morning I just glimpsed a few words of  Russel Ray’s post about carrying your camera wherever you go.  I almost left home without it, but 177 pictures would be lost forever if I had.

He uses his hands on the ladder for the first few steps.

He uses his hands on the ladder for the first few steps.

This young man was not anxious for me to take his picture, but he hoisted up his pants, and said ok I could take his picture.

He gets right into his work.  Every minute and every movement counts.

He gets right into his work. Every minute and every movement counts.

He worked so fast and furiously that I’m surprised the pictures weren’t blurred.

This is not a job for the person with Miniere's Disease!

This is not a job for the person with Miniere’s Disease, or for someone with acrophobia!!!

He’s literally buried in his work.

Notice his left leg?  This man has no fear!

Notice his left leg? This man has no fear!








He was up there about 2 minutes max, then he had to come down and empty his bag which I would estimate weighed at least 10-15 pounds.


Look how full his bag is!

Look how full his bag is!

The pickin’ process is simple.

  • Put your bag over your head, and adjust it so it’s comfortable, and won’t throw you off-balance as it fills with oranges.
  • Place the ladder up against the tree anywhere, not just against the trunk.  You can’t get to the trunk.  Trust that it will hold you.  Don’t gain weight.
  • Climb slowly up the ladder picking with both hands and putting oranges in the bag.
  • Drop the oranges you don’t want on the ground.
  • Climb to the very top of the ladder.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t seem like it would fall.
  • Climb back down the ladder picking with both hands as you go.
  • Don’t look down.
  • Thrust out your leg for balance if you think you might fall.
  • Take the bag over to the nearest bin and empty it in.
  • Talk to the lady with the camera.
  •  Go back, move the ladder, and start again.
  • Get the lady’s card, and hope she goes away soon.
Boxes lined this row.

Boxes lined this row.

This man was so gracious.  I talked to him in my limited Spanish.  It amazed me that he trusted me to take his picture and put it on the internet.  I showed him the pictures, and he didn’t seem to mind, and gave him my card.  If he emails me, I will send him the pictures.

Not lunch time yet!

Not lunch time yet! 

Are you ready to try it?

19 replies »

    • Not me, Russel Ray. I picked strawberries with my brother for two days, getting up at 4:30 to be picked up by the bus at 5:00. Picking all day to make $5.00. I decided it was much better to babysit, so I did. 🙂


  1. Don’t know much about picking fruit .. scared of low heights for some reason. I live in the Kingdom of Apples, my county is has the biggest apple farms in the country .. and hopefully soon the blossom will take the breath out of me, a bit late this year.
    Thanks for a great post. Decided to follow you. Nice meeting you, Marsha …. Wivi


  2. I would take the ones in arm’s reachas it looks there are plenty further down….that’ll be enough for my fruitsalad. Were you allowed to pick some?


    • I might have been, but I didn’t. We can buy them $2 for a sack of probably 10 pounds, freshly picked from a grower down the street from us. 🙂


  3. You didn’t say whether he gave you any of those freshly picked oranges, Marsha. Thanks for the tips. I’ll be sure to remember them if ever I go a’pickin. 🙂


    • I didn’t ask. He worked too hard to get them. I could have picked up some off the ground, I suppose, but I didn’t. I did stop by a stand that sells them 5 lbs for $2.00, then didn’t have any change, so had to leave them. The oranges are spectacular right now! So juicy and sweet. 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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