Photo by @mettelampcov for #AdobeRisingStars || As the sky turns pink on a hot summer’s evening in the San Joaquin Valley, a woman is trimming and picking onions.
California has the perfect Mediterranean climate for growing fruit, vegetables, and nuts, and is the single largest producer of food in the United States, with a $7 billion worldwide export industry. The effects of climate change will include reduced levels of water supplies, heat creating more plant stress and fewer chill hours. Climate change will also impact the lifecycle of pollinators and is an increased risk for invasive species. Cross-pollination from bees is responsible for up to 30% of the world’s crops.
Onion picking is incredibly tough farm work, known for its severe working conditions. Onions are picked late into the night and workers are paid $1.30 per sack of onions, so the quicker they work the more money they make. There are two tungsten lights at each end of the field, meaning the workers have to provide their own lights and their own cutters. After being out in the fields photographing, bugs were crawling all over me because they were attracted to the lights.