Food Industry

Field Report: Redlands Green Bean Pickers in Pictures

Last year, Janine Zeitlin wrote an article for New Times called "Ignored and Cheated: Farm Workers Earn Nada in America's Greenbean Capital."

Yesterday, South Dade-based Short Order reader Michelle contacted us with her exclusive images from the green bean fields of rural Dade county in the Redlands. Here is the report she sent us along with her images:

"Leave miami on free bus @ 5am go to random fields. They only get to pick not plant. So when its planting time they stay home & look for other work. They get a paper for every crate (30lbs) of good beans. They collect papers and at end of work day trade them in for $3.50 each. They work 7 days a wk, rain or shine. If they don't want to work in the rain they can stay in the bus.

Some workers just got back from Georgia. Gerard Policard is here from Haiti until Dec.20th. Gerard lives in Little Haiti. Edward Ceneas is also Haitian and lives in Miami. Both workers were interested in education. Edward said: "I want to better my education. I want more for life than his. How do I go school? I don't know when I get home, sometimes 6, last night 9, today now at noon. I worked 5 in the morning til 9 i get home last night I make only $35". Today I work 7 hours make $10.50. My body it hurts".

Gerard said: "If I move here from Haiti after I finish will I get financial aid to continue?" Gerard and Edward want to be paid by the hour and have a set schedule. It was about 75 degrees out, blue sky, nice breeze.UNIQUE FARM SERVICES:(305) 758-6485 (<--- Info from cash out ticket). In attached photo: Gerard (Left), Edward (Right)."

Here go the rest of her pictures: