Pack a hat and some sunscreen and get ready to exert some muscles you never even knew you had. For skint travellers, with (or without) work visas, willing to work harder than I did thinking up the following pun here is our pick of the crops for summer 2010.
The oat and wheat harvests in Salmon Gums and Grass Patch, Western Australia, should be, weather permitting, already underway. They end in June as will other underway harvests in Albany, Williams, Marradong, West Arthur, Bindoon, Moora and Lower Chittering.
For rock lobster work try Freemantle, Dongara, Kalbarri, Mandurah and Geraldtown until the end of June. Alternatively, try Kununurra for bananas and melons in June and July. Head to Wee Waa, in New South Wales, for cotton until June.
Queensland is the most fertile state in Australia for the next few months. Bundaberg and Childers will be the focus for most of the activity. Expect tomatoes, capsicum, avocados (from now until August), citrus, custard apples (until June), snow peas (until October), zucchini (until November – try the Sunshine Coast too), cucumbers and beans (ending soon). Pumpkin picking began in May and will carry on to July. A new harvest of cherry tomatoes begins in July.
Elsewhere in the state Bowen is the best option with beans, tomatoes, corn and mangoes providing jobs from May onwards. Ingham, Innisfail and Ayr may also have sugar cane that needs cutting while Cardwell and Innisfail grow bananas all year. On the Sunshine Coast there will be zucchinis to November and strawberry picking from June to October.
Riverland, in South Australia, will mainly be picking oranges in June, while the Adelaide Hills will harvest brussell sprouts. Both of these crops will continue until August. In Tasmania – Huon Valley, Tasman Peninsula and West Tamar – the apple and pear seasons are coming to a close in May.
A full round up for the year can be found at this Australian Fruit Picking Calendar
For Australian working holiday visa information visit the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
Across the sea in New Zealand, head to Hawke’s Bay, the Bay of Plenty, and Ohakune. An extra benefit of fruit picking in New Zealand is that it can lead to a three month extension of your work visa. For details of this and applying for a Kiwi WHM visa go to http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/workingholiday/
A country as large as the USA will be harvesting something, somewhere in the summer months right across the country while Canada, another large country with a lot of crops, begins harvesting strawberries and cucumbers in early June, and cherries and raspberries in July, in Ontario. Also try British Columbia.
Plenty of information including a couple of charts for both the USA and Canada can be found in Susan Griffith’s magnificent Work Your Way Around the World; the latest edition is available at Amazon.
In France, the strawberry season in the Loire Valley should continue until mid June. The Rhone Valley joined in with strawberry and cherry picking beginning around mid May and will continue to late June. From June, try looking for hay making work that will be taking place all over France until August.
Greece will welcome in several crops in the next three to four months including nuts, apples, pears, tobacco, grapes and other soft fruit. Head for the Pilion peninsula (near Volos), the rural area to the west of Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Crete and the central Peloponnese. In Italy, strawberries and cherries are picked until August in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. June also sees strawberries in Denmark.
*Please note all the dates given above are approximate and may vary according to weather.