Gimme my berries and a can of whipped cream.

Diane

Thacker Berry Farm strawberry stand sales associate

This is my first season. I was a personal assistant to the elderly and I was doing that for years. Not medical stuff, but I household managed when they had hospice, that kind of thing. I suffered so much loss… I lost so many people within an eight-year period, that it was really taking a toll on me. Then my own mother fell and broke her hip and when she died, I cared for her in all regards. Then I was like, “I have to do something different.” I saw an ad for this and I thought, I’m very social, I used to always be outside rather than just one-on-one with someone in their house, so that’s how I wound up here. I applied for this job just to get a change.

Unfortunately, the season’s going to end in a few weeks; I’m not quite sure of the date yet. But they normally do a pumpkin patch, Pa’s Pumpkin Patch, and then Snow Pines, so we’re waiting to hear on that because of everything going on with COVID. I’m hoping to work the pumpkin patch with them. They’re great people, great co-workers, and I’m hoping to also work the Christmas tree lot because I have a little grandson now. I would love to be there when he comes to his first pumpkin patch or first Christmas tree farm.

I’m here certain days, and then there’s another gal; I’m Thursday through Sunday and she works Monday through Wednesday, so we split the week. In the mornings, there’s stacks of flats, I take the flats and load them into my car and then I come to the stand, load them into the stand, and then they all go to the scales and from there they’re cut up into half flats and quarter flats. I don’t have to travel to any of the other stands. There’s one in Palos Verdes, one in Los Alamitos, Yorba Linda, La Palma, and then two other ones in Long Beach as well: on Los Coyotes and Spring and then on Atlantic.

At the end of the day, you close up, you wipe everything down, you sweep up and total up your bank and all that. [Unsold berries] get returned and they’re donated to food banks, which is a good thing. But today, I sold out. We’re here ’til 6:00 if we don’t sell out and that happens on occasion, but very frequently we sell out. Especially now because people are going into panic mode because they know the end of the season is approaching.

I get a discount because I work for them, so that’s one good thing. If we get a new variety, we will take a sample to be able to tell the customer which variety is sweeter. They all have no chemicals, no pesticides, no GMOs. I really do enjoy it. Plus, you can’t get any better strawberries anywhere. There’s nothing worse than biting into a berry that has no flavor. Just me and a can of whipped cream, that’s all I need! Gimme my berries and a can of whipped cream.

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