Saturday, February 8, 2014

FIRSTFRUITS OF WASHINGTON

December 2013 First Fruit Newsletter
Tough Year
This year was a tough year for many Washington farmers. The year began with an early Spring freeze that froze many apple blossoms and cut apple quantities by 15-20%. Then our summer remained hotter for a longer period of time, making it difficult for apples to ripen and color appropriately. Fall was no exception, with high wind storms knocking many apples to the ground. Even though the year brought many challenges, causing a lot of lost sleep, many more positive and exciting things kept "sprouting", reminding us that God has his holy hand over us all. 
On-site ESL Classes
A new partnership has been established by Broetje Orchards and Walla Walla Community College to offer ESL instruction as part of the work-day for qualifying employees. We are making this in- vestment because we see a heightened importance for our employees to successfully interact with the English speaking world around us. Additionally, we see this as an opportunity for individuals to advance in the workplace and for personal gain beyond employment with us.
 
Currently we have a total of 44 students from levels 1-5 attending classes on Monday through Friday during paid work hours. For employees who have a personal desire to learn English, an application is available in our front office.
Harvest Facts
Do you know how many bins of apples get picked per day? Or which employee has picked the most apple bins during harvest?  Well, wonder no more. Every day our hard working employees pick between 5,000 to 9,000 bins, for a total of 30,000 to 54,000 bins per week. These totals depend on a number of factors, including the varieties being picked and if they are color-picking.
 
After researching information from all crews in Prescott, Burbank, Wallula and Benton City, the 3 people who picked the most bins from when contract harvest began until the end of October were:
#1 Miguel Ayala Arellano from Polo's crew filled 238 bins.
#2 Ramiro Ambriz from Faustino's crew filled 221 bins.
#3 Librado Vazquez-Ortiz from Rafael's crew filled 217 bins!

Amazing!!
 
Thanks to all of the hard working individuals for another great harvest season! 
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