In the fields
11 Images

First person: Journalist spends a day picking strawberries

In the fields
Los Angeles Times writer Hector Becerra picks boxes of strawberries alongside workers in a Santa Maria, Calif., strawberry field. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Santa Maria, Calif., strawberry field
Domingo Suarez, center, carries a box full of strawberries as he works alongside other workers in Santa Maria, Calif. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Team work
Los Angeles Times reporter Hector Becerra, left, is instructed by foreman Antonio Lopez, right, on how to pack a box of strawberries. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Product
Los Angeles Times writer Hector Becerra packs strawberries into a clamshell box right after picking them.  (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Covering up
Noemi Lopez, 21, left, covers her skin to protect against the elements as she prepares to pick strawberries. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Strawberry fields forever
Mauro Ortiz carries a box full of strawberries as he works alongside other workers. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Moving platform
Working on a moving platform, Phillip Sanchez carries and sorts boxes of strawberries freshly picked for Dole Foods. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Big job
Los Angeles Times writer Hector Becerra carries a box of strawberries he picked. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Worms eye view
Noemi Lopez, 21, picks strawberries as she works alongside other workers in Santa Maria, Calif. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Boxing them up
Foreman Antonio Lopez, left, talks with Maria Huitron, right, about boxes of freshly picked strawberries. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Dole foods
Domingo Suarez, center, carries a box of strawberries picked for Dole Foods. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
1/11