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Cucumber Picking / Packing

Fruit and vegetable picking job is just one of the most sought after jobs by backpackers in Australia. This is where most travelers get some cash to support their finances while traveling the corners of the Land Down Under.

If you are currently visiting Australia and wanted to extend your stay in the country, you can do vegetable picking job as one of your resources. One vegetable that you may surely come across is the juicy and mouth-watering Cucumber. Cucumber, as not everyone knows, also known as Cucumis Sativus, belongs to the family plant Cucurbitaceae, where pumpkin and watermelon is also included. These genera are mostly grown in temperate areas or tropic regions.

Just like Melons, Cucumber is globally cultivated as it can easily be used as a culinary vegetable. This beautiful fruit may be best grown in summer gardens but if you are in the areas with hot summers, a little shade and a fair amount of love and tenderness will be needed.

Cucumber, which was first cultivated 3000 years ago, has numerous varieties that includes Parisian Pickling, Kyoto, Burpless Tasty Green, Patio Pick, Spacemaster, Ashley, Armenian, Gherkin National, Lebanese, Chinese Long Green, Lemon Cucumber, Tokyo Slicer, Green Gem, Kyoto, Marketmore, Crystal Apple and Giant Russian.

In areas that are warm, cucumbers are best grown along the ground, though they normally have a climbing habit, as they become less stressed. When in ground, they retain their juiciness, crispiness and tenderness. They need a well drained soil of at least 21°C with well rotten manure to enrich the fruit while growing. In warm areas, cucumbers are planted from July to March while in temperate areas, planting schedule normally falls from September to January. For cool to cold areas, cucumber is usually planted from October to December.

In harvesting cucumbers, one should pick them before reaching its maximum size as this is normally the time the fruit is sweet and crisp. Pickers normally use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife rather than pulling the fruit from its vine as this could cause some damage to the cucumber.

If you are backpacker who dreams of picking cucumbers, farms usually pay by the bucket or by the hour you’ve worked. It is advisable for you to communicate with the farm owner or the supervisor to know the exact amount that you can get if you’ve chosen the pay per bucket scheme. Pay by the bucket usually pays more rather than pay by the hour, which is normally starts from AUD$15-20 per hour.

Just like other picking jobs, you have to ensure that you are physically fit and can stand the heat as this job requires long hours of work. You need to make sure that you have a complete set of backpacker protection such sunblock creams, hat, longsleeved clothings, sunglasses, and especially, big water bottle.