Life is what's happening while you're busy making other plans

06 décembre 2010

Still in St George

So the time has passed, and not that many melons have been packed!

The weather in Queensland this year is just completely off the charts. They have never had this much rain in years. Which makes picking melons difficult. So we've had a lot of days off, just hanging around the camp ground, watching movies, reading books etc.

We did have a couple of intense days when the weather was good, we packed for 11 hours a day for three days straight. that was really tiring, and despite wearing gloves, my fingertips started to bleed! you'd never think melons are that rough but they are!

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Here above two pictures of the shed we work in. The melons come in on a conveyer belt, the machines is supposed to sort them out and send them to a different bin (big round blue thing) according to their size. Each packer stands next to a bin and packs the melons she gets. The thing is that the machine is not very accurate so you can sometimes get some very different sized melons in your bin, so you have to be careful to pack melons that have more or less the same size. We pack boxes of 15, 12, 9, 8, 7 and 6 melons. Obviously, the bigger the melons, the less melons in the box. Once we've packed a box, we push it onto another conveyor belt and a QA person opens it up again to make sure that the melons are of good quality. If they are ok, the stackers take the boxes and put them onto pallets that are then stored in a cool box until a delivery truck comes to pick them up. If the melons are not of good quality the box is rejected and we need to fix it. 

Normally we should be able to pack a minimum of 58 boxes per hour, or risk getting fired. But this year, because of the rain, the melons are so bad that it's very difficult to reach that number. THere are just too many melons to throw out, because they are rotten or just not big enough, that we sometimes spend more time throwing stuff out than packing. In fact, we've throw so much stuff out that the machine breaks down regularly. It is not able to withold so much weight on the conveyor belt that takes the bad melons out.

A space freed up on the farm where we pack so we move out of our camp ground and on to the farm. It's a wee bit more expensive, but at least we don't have to get up earlier and drive for half an hour to get to work every morning. Plus we've got a room! It's the first time since we've hit the road with our van that we haven't slept in the van.  Here below pictures of the facilities:

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Posté par wendorej à 00:13 - Australia - Permalien [#] Partager