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VIDEO: Maine's Blueberry Barrens

by in Jul 2009
VIDEO: Maine’s Blueberry Barrens
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David Brooks Stess has been raking Maine’s blueberries and photographing the lives of migrant workers for more than 20 years. Hear in his own words why he takes on this difficult lifestyle and see the “magic” he finds in it.

Read more: Photographing Maine’s Blueberry Barrens

Updated Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

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5 Responses to VIDEO: Maine’s Blueberry Barrens

  1. Marylee Tharp June 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

    I found this article very touching! I have been in Main when the blueberry’s were being gathered – stayed at a BB and had the most wonderful breakfast there of anything in blueberries you could possible eat! Thanks for sharing this wonderful article – really commend this young man for taking on this project.

  2. Roger Wadleigh July 11, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    50 + years ago I raked for a couple of years. Like, David I had not seen the “barrens” and my experience with blueberry’s was limited to the taller berries of Southern New England. With an oatmeal box as container, my mother and father would take our family to deserted farms and pick berries until dark.

    I stayed with my extended family at our grandmother’s camp on a pond near the “barrens”. I had never seen them and when an older cousin married into a family that had a blueberry farm i got introduced to the low blush berries. The lure of the seemingly easy money $2.00 dollars per bushel the adventure of being outdoors all day was soon replaced by the stooping and pulling the rake through the bushes. Her two younger brothers and me were also expected to help her husband take the berries to the cannery after raking time. The season lasted two weeks I can’t remember being so tired

    My experience with migrant labor did not diminish my liking of blue berries But I can not understand why my wife thinks a blueberry pie is so easy to make.

  3. meg holford July 14, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    As a photographer, I admire this kind of in depth project because these relationships are vital to capturing the humanity in their faces. Portraits are the hardest to take for me.
    I do love Maine, I worked 2 summers in the late 90’s near Denmark in the lakes region above Portland but this barrens region is really interesting to me. What a diverse state. Love the place. I want to take my kids up there. Thanks for highlighting this story.

  4. Jan Mahon August 19, 2009 at 3:57 am #

    it is a Beautiful Place that should be seen by ALL> … PLUS: The Blueberries are Great!

  5. Karen Crabtree October 16, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    I have lived in Cherryfield,Maine for 12 years now. Every spring our town is bustling with all the preparations for blueberry season. Actually, here in Cherryfield
    it is not just a season, but our way of life. I love living here and the video brought a lump to my throat and tears in my eyes, because I know how very hard this life can be. Yet the video author puts a beautiful take on this way of life that makes one proud! Thank You Mr. Stess

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