Worm-Picking Night in Canada


Worm-Picking Night in Canada

Decades ago, Worm Picking is considered a carrier for immigrants from Italia, Portugal to Canada. Nowadays, that job has been switched to Asian immigrants from China, Korea, and Vietnam.

According to many people, “worm-picking” is also known as “dollar-picking” job. The price for worm picking is about $8 to $18 per cup (each cup contains about 420 worms), price changes according to the season. In general, an experienced person picks 60-70 cups per night; therefore, one can easily buy an expensive car in a very short time. There are many people become small business owner thanks for the saving from worm-picking job. There are also many successful Vietnamese doctors had been worm pickers during their student time, thanks for which, they earned enough money to pay for the school fee.

To be honest, worm-picking is not as easy as it sounds. Beginner will feel a lot of pains after the first week of becoming a worm picker. There is a funny story about a worm-picker girl who started picking worm since 11, then until she reached the age of 17 now, she has never wore a skirt because of the remaining scratches on her two knees.  There had been a lot of people tried the worm-picking job but not many of them can work for a long term. However, worm-picking is considered a good job, in which worm-pickers also have to pay tax and are given welfares during the winter time when they are unable to work, and most important, it’s a legal and proud job, in comparison with hemp planting job, which is considered a dollar job also.

An unforgettable night….

Being told about worm-picking story, I have a wish to experience that kind of job at least once in my life time. Then the chance came to me. I accidently met a person who has been a worm-picker for more than 10 years and persuaded her to let me accompany with her in a worm-picking night. Her name is Nga.

The picking time starts from mid-spring until autumn. The farm owner has to watch weather forecast every day to find out when is the most suitable time to pick worms. When it came, he called all the worm-pickers to pick them up at a place and take them to the farm.

We were picked up by a big truck which was equipped with free water and tissues. It took us almost 2 hours to get to the farm. When the truck stopped, everyone start equipping themselves with the picker equipments and start working right away. Worm-pickers look like coal miners: each of them carried a small light and a small umbrella on the top of their head, wearing a bag of battery charger (for the light) on their back and carried a big bag of worm cups on the hand. All of them wore rain coats outside their clothes and rain boots on their legs, gloves on their two hands. One leg is sticked with an empty cup (to carry worm) and the other one was sticked with a cup of rice. After being equipped, worm-pickers look like robots because without those equipments, they cannot stay to work during the night.

I started my first time picking worms. OMG! How big was a Canadian worm!  I found a giant worm which was a foot long and as big around as my thumb!

         “Come on! Pick it up!” said Nga.

I tried to forget my scary feeling, closed my eyes and picked the worm up. It was pulled longer than cut half. Nga laughed and told me to put my hands on the rice cup in order to prevent the slipper.

         “Remember to count worms, ok? 420 worms for a cup. Remember to close the cup, otherwise, they will escape!” said Nga.

Watching her picking worms so professionally, I wished I could have “kung-fu” to be able to catch worms. Spending almost 3 hours picking worms, I just ended up with a half of a cup, feeling painful all of the body. I just wished time run fast so that I could finish this nightmare. How come they stay in such bad working condition…

What is worm used for? One packer said worm can be used to produce cosmetic and sold for fishing purpose. A dozen of worms, in Toronto, can be sold in a fishing equipment store with the price of $3.00 after tax. It’s really a big business as you don’t have to invest any money in raising worms while harvest a lot of money in worm industry.

There it was time for sunshine. What a nice view in the farm. Many bags of worms were placed on the land and worm-pickers right away came to find their bag. On the way home, worm pickers failed asleep as the picking night took away a lot of energy from them.

According to Thanh Nien Newspaper – Anh Nguyen translated)

Source: http://www.vnexpress.net/GL/The-gioi/Nguoi-Viet-5-chau/2006/07/3B9EC6CA/



17 Responses

  1. I am looking to get in touch with worm pickers company so I can buy worms from them . Can you help me please.

    I like your story.

  2. I am looking for the worm pickers company so I can buy worms from them. email me at rbernier@rtc.coop

  3. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww thats really sad to know what imigrants go through after migrating to Canada!!!!!

    • It is not sad .it’s only the way how you see the reality. better do this job and get some money in short time than working all your life and be sad for all the rest of it .

  4. […] Source: anhng.wordpress.com […]

  5. […] Source: anhng.wordpress.com […]

  6. I want to work as a worm-picker, can I?

  7. Where can I find a person to contact to do the job as a worm -picker?. I’m a student and I need money to pay for the school

    • Winter is not the worm-picking season, that’s why they call it seasonal job. The worm-pickers only pick worms for about 2 months in the summer time, and live on the amount of money they get from that job for the whole year, or work on something else during the “break”

  8. I am very interested in this article and the industry itself. Do you know Theo in person, I would love to get in contact with an experienced person in this field myself, concerning a possible documentary project.

    Here is my e-mail: andrewglennmiller@gmail.com, if you could be ofany help. Thanks!

  9. […] Source: anhng.wordpress.com […]

  10. Maam I’m presently applying as Worm Picker at Canada but i’m still confused what really the work done in there. Is there any companies specializing this kinda job? fr. Phil

  11. are you looking or recruiting a worker now in your company as a worm picker there in canada

  12. i want to know if you are hiring a worker as a worm picker night in your company there in Canada as of these moment please reply me as soon as possible because i am interested.leonardviernes@ymail.com

  13. i would like to become a worm..picker …….can i ?

  14. […] Source: anhng.wordpress.com […]

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