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It's spring again, we'll bring again… daffs from Cornwall?

Reporter Gillian Robertson, of the Western Morning News, has enjoyed a seasonal assignment – she’s been out picking daffodils to send to market…

“I’ll be surprised if you can do a hundred an hour,” said Carol, my supervisor.

Well that threw down the gauntlet. Immediately I straddled a row of daffodils, variety “Cheerfulness”, bent over and got to work.

First you slide your hand down the stem of the daffodil – only ones in bud. Your rubber glove squeaks. Then you pull from the base, and make bunches of ten. Turn and snap the stems to a uniform length. Bind with rubber band. Drop bunch and move forward. Carol said: “Most pickers do three rows and put them in crates.”

I wasn’t sure I could manage a row, forget a crate. I could hardly handle the tiny rubber bands, which are interesting with gloves on, I can tell you.

My daffodils also didn’t break cleanly, but oozed sap from their ragged stems.

It was a nice day, The sun warmed my neck, birds twittered, a breeze flirted with my hair. Bucolic – and with that touch of verité when my back started aching.

I glanced at my seven fellow pickers, hoping to share a little camaraderie, but they were rows away picking intently, evidently not infringing on my patch.

Carol smiled when I returned with 45 bunches. “Well, I’d have paid you top price anyway,” she said.

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