Yes! We are actually working, and pretty hard at it!! I REALLY wanted to get the experience of fruit picking for the kick of getting to know what it feels like. It’s a bit funny how it happened. One day we were biking around Skaha lake and while we were stopped at a farm to buy some produce, we ran into two Quebecois who were looking for work. They are professional fruit pickers.. they have been doing it for many years. So we asked them about it a little and they mentioned that a winery nearby, Blasted Church, was starting to pick their grapes really soon. So we went over as is to make ourselves available and next thing you know, we’re getting a text to ask us if we want to pick. We made it clear that we had never done it before but as you might expect, it’s as simple as it sounds. All you need are snippers and buckets to put the grapes in.
We never really asked how much it paid as it was mostly about getting the experience of doing it. So after we were just about done filling the first bin, I started thinking about how much work we had put into it and what I presumed the value would be. I figured since it took us about 4 hours between two people that it should be between $100-$150. I asked another worker (they’re mostly all Quebecois it seems) the pay rate and well I was a bit shocked when she said $60! Holy! There’s got to be enough grapes in there to make over 100 bottles (what do I know.. perhaps it only makes a dozen bottles.. doubt it though).
So in the end, we picked just about two bins. At the end we were pretty tired and we only did it for 7 hours. Some guys actually picked for 12 hours. It might not look like much but the little buggers grow at hip height so you have to be bent over all the time to chop away. I was pretty much sitting on one of my bucket at the end as my core muscles couldn’t take it anymore. Although tired too, Elaine didn’t think it was so physically demanding… I blame it on the fact that I’m taller so I have to bend more 🙂
Weather in Penticton is so far quite nice. It’s not nice enough to go swimming though. We did treat ourselves to a drop-in at the municipal pool to go for a really warm hot tub and a refreshing shower. It’s only $3 if you want to go in just for shower.
Oh the climbing is really nice too! Sooo many walls to choose from and so many routes to climb. It’s hard to decide where to go so much choice there is. They have some full 35 meters routes here with a variety of grades. Elaine is working on her lead climbing and it’s coming along real good. I think she’ll be leading at the grade she can climb sooner than later! Myself I got schooled on a few longer harder routes due to my lack of endurance. In any case, it’s good training! That and the working out I’m getting at the vineyard will go a long way I’m sure! 😉
We are so lucky that once again we connected with really cool people at the crag, Morgan and Oliver. We got to climb with these two guys from BC and hung out some more before and after the climbing. Morgan is a coffee enthousiast (aka coffee snob)… That’s awesome because this guy believe it or not, roasts his own coffee (with a pop corn machine!) And to top it off, he even gave us 3 batches of his beans he had on hand. So far the Guatemala is the best one! Anyways, they’re both awesome climbers and hopefully we get to see them again.
We’re not sure if it’s good or bad news, but it turns out you CAN bake a cake in a frying pan on a stove top. Was on sale at Bulk Barns so we bought a little to try it out. Man it was so good I think I have made worst cakes than that with an oven. So I went back and bought 1 Kg of the mix.. We are ready for next time we have guests over.. anyone?
- We paid $0.99 for 2 lbs of carrots x 2. We had to throw one out as it got moldy. (Will keep vegies in fridge from now on)
- We scored a deal on 5 lbs potatoes: $0.99!
- Grapes for wine making tastes really good!
- Grapes stains your hands and your clothes. Will know soon if it comes off the clothes or not.
- Elaine thought The Fault in Our Stars was very sad and cried for the whole movie. I thought I had allergies.
- One guy while picking grapes thought we were crazy to spend $15 000 to live for a year. WAY TOO MUCH he said!
- If you can buy red wine from BigHorn Vineyards for $6-7, do it. Totally worth it and no headache 🙂
- Don’t forget to take the knot out before pulling your rope. Easier to deal with than the alternative.
- We saw a big rattle snake. At least a meter long.
Our weekly budget is now $173.91 (+$5/week! woohoo) for food & fun.
Fuel: $80.00 / $2544.76
Food: $58.77 / $1011.84
Fun: $27.85 / $896.71
Total for the week without fuel: $86.62
Total with fuel: $166.62
Total of big ticket items not part of weekly budget: $0
Total spent since the beginning: $6272.49
Total budget: $15336.49 (+$107.94 from grape picking!)
Budget left: $9064.00
M & E