Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Cost of Vegetables

For two days I watched these farm workers with hoes make their way down each row in this field of newly-planted cabbage across the road from our place. There were at least three times as many workers as shown in this photo. They started at sunup each day and stopped work eight hours later when it was too hot to do any more.

That's an awful lot of man- and woman-hours just to grow cabbage, and this isn't counting the days of plowing--slow-moving tractors spend a lot of time grooming this field--and the planting and irrigating. Of course, there is still the cost of harvesting, processing, and transporting the cabbage to market.

This has given me a lot to think about whenever I look at the cost of vegetables.


matron said...

An interesting subject.I rather take shopping for granted,buy what I need without much thought to it's production.Having said that,I do buy fair trade products when I can.
A cabbage,in my local veg store costs about 80 Cent,having read your post this seems quite cheap.I do not know how much it cost to grow and get it to the shop and for a profit to be made at each stage of it's journey to my plate.!!! You have made me curious to find out.!!

Sandy ~~~ said...

Yup, everyone complains regardless, huh? I can't wait to get to NM and take advantage of the sunshine so I can try growing some myself!

janitabean said...

I hate hoeing! I had to do this all of the time when I was a kid!

Martha Z said...

For all of their work, they get very little of the money. It's one of the reasons I like to shop at farmers markets. Even there, though, much of labor is done by low payed laborers.