male migrant worker smiles for the camera

Jeremiah, Seasonal Agricultural Worker from Jamaica

In Jamaica, I’m known as an All Rounder. I’m in construction. I can build houses and do furniture too. I can even make cupboards for you for your kitchen. I grew up in a rural area. My mom was a tobacco farmer. We also grew yams and potatoes and things like that.

I started coming to Canada in 2001. When it came to the financial crisis, you just have to deal with it. You’ll do whatever it takes to survive. My children are 30 and 23. I talk to them every day.

On this farm we grow grapes, peaches, cherries and apricots. We start with pruning when we come in the winter and then after pruning, tie the grapes on the wires. These grapes are going to be harvested in October or November. I like to eat them all but my favourite is the apricots. Maybe if I say that, my boss will stop me from picking them!

It was cold when I started coming but it was nothing to worry about. The deal with it is that you know you’re coming to a different country. You’ve got to be prepared for whatever there is. They say you should live each day as if it’s your last. You’ve got to be happy when you rise and see the sun in the morning. I appreciate each day for whatever it is and whatever might come.

I like to play dominoes and listen to music. My favourite music? I have so many and am confused about that right now. I like any one where I listen and I gain wisdom from that song. Any one of them can teach you something.