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Despite extra work, some growers prefer harvesting by hand

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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:00 am

Dusty brown work boots step up to a vine, stomping on fallen leaves and grapevine canes. A worker shoves a gloved left hand deep into the lush foliage and gently grasps a full cluster of pale green grapes. His right hand, holding a small, hooked harvesting knife, aims for the cluster’s woody stem and severs it from the mother vine.

A quick release of the left hand drops the cluster into a yellow tub waiting at his feet. Three or four more clusters follow. The worker bends, lifts the yellow tub, and sets it back in the dirt three feet to his left. Then he dives once again into the vine.

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