Outside of Wenatchee, the highway becomes a narrow lane between apple orchards, a foam of bloom in the spring. At the opening of the harvest season, which begins early with peaches, pears, and soft fruits, the valley is the mecca for thousands who seek work in the orchards. Men, women, and children in all sorts of vehicles invade the city, crowd the auto camps, and fill the camps established on the fruit ranches by the owners. Far and wide amid the immense, heavily laden trees the workers move, with picking bags and long stepladders. While the soft fruit is being gathered, the long sprays of the apple trees sag with reddening fruit. Even though thinning has been done, props must be placed under the heavy limbs to prevent them from being torn off by the weight. Finally the main business of the year, the apple harvest, begins. Trucks rumble to the warehouses; pickers and packers, boxmakers and nailers work with flying hands; mountainous piles of new boxes vanish into the orchards and emerge filled with luscious fruit; there is labor, bustle, and the all-pervading scent of apples.
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