Across the Fruited Plain

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Published: 1940
Language: English
Wordcount: 23,504 / 74 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 89.6
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 1,463
Added to site: 2006.06.26
mnybks.net#: 13937
Origin: gutenberg.org

Maybe you've heard about the migrants lately, or have seen pictures of them in the magazines. But have you thought that many of them are families much like yours and mine, traveling uncomfortably in rattly old jalopies while they go from one crop to another, and living crowded in rickety shacks when they stop for work?There have always been wandering farm laborers because so many crops need but a few workers part of the year and a great many at harvest. A two-thousand-acre peach orchard needs only thirty workers most of the year, and one thousand seven hundred at picking time. Lately, though, there have been more migrants than ever. One reason is that while in the past we used to eat fresh peas, beans, strawberries, and the like only in summer, now we want fresh fruits and vegetables all year round. To supply our wants, great quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables must be raised in the warm climates where they will grow.

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ey. For two months we all pick the berries. Enough we earn to put-it food into our mouth. And the keeds! They go white and skinny, and they come home, like you see it, brown and fat." Her voice rose and she waved the baby dramatically. "Not so good the houses, I would not lie to you. But we make like we have the peekaneeka. By night the cool fresh air blow on us and by day the warm fresh air. And vegetables and fruit so cheap, so cheap."

"But what good will that do us, Mis' Albi?" Grandma asked flatly. "It's close onto September and berries is out."

"The cranberry bog!" Mrs. Albi shouted triumphantly. "Only today the padrone, he come to my people asking who will pick the cranberry. And that Jersey air, it will bring the fat and the red to these Jimmie's cheeks and to the bambina's!" Mrs. Albi wheezed as she ran out of breath.

The Beechams stared at her. Many Italians and Americans went to the farms to pick berries and beans. The Beechams had never thought of doing so, si

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