Sept. 6, 1948
The Redwood Journal
All over the nation this winter, people will be eating pears from the orchards of Ukiah valley. This past week the two million dollar annual crop began moving to market, at the rate of about 700 tons a day. The shipping season lasts approximately 30 days. There are 3521 acres of pear in Mendocino county and they are processed for market in four packing sheds and one dehydrating plant.
Ukiah Fruit Growers, Inc., a cooperative, handles about one-third of the annual crop. Jess N. Stipp, one of the larger pear and prune growers in this section, spends some of his time there during the shipping season. Joe P. Sotter supervises the 300-odd employes who handle and prepare the fruit ready for refrigerator cars.
Women and girls make their pin money sorting and grading pears during the short packing season. Among them this year is Beverley Morby, daughter of another large pear producer, working with Carol Cohen of the Dan Cohen family. Both girls are high school graduates of ’48, enroute to college this fall.
The pears are taken from trucks – that arrive in an almost endless procession – directly to an acid bath, which removes spray and surface soil. Then they are sorted by skilled women who stand along the sides of an endless conveyor belt. Packers are the fastest working humans in the place. They wrap each pear individually in a tissue square before placing it in a box. Then a belt moves the box along to be weighed and marked; then to a machine that clamps on a lid, with one movement. From there the box is carried to a Northwestern Pacific freight car, waiting on the siding. The boxes are made…
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