The story of Champlain Valley’s Jamaican apple pickers comes to Canton
A new exhibit at Traditional Arts in Upstate New York in Canton documents the life of Jamaican migrant workers who pick much of the Champlain Valley’s apple crop every year.
Adirondack based photojournalist Ben Stechschulte will speak at the opening of his exhibit, “From Jamaica to Peru”, Saturday at 2 pm at TAUNY in Canton.
The exhibit documents the life of Jamaican men who come to work on the Forrence Orchards in Peru, near Plattsburgh. Some of them have been returning to do the hard work for decades. “It’s multi-generational,” Stechschulte says. “Gentlemen have returned year after year, and now their sons work with them. It’s really a long-term family affair between the orchard and the workers from Jamaica.”
Stechschulte first published the photos in an article two years ago for Adirondack Life magazine. He says he wanted to tell the story of the workers’ talent, both physical and intellectual, and remind consumers that every gleaming apple they see at the supermarket has been touched by a human hand.