Farm Foods

  • The Midgie
  • 1 June 2009

Fruit Picking vs Tattie Rougeing

Working on a farm means you can earn money while re-connecting with the outdoors. But who wins in the battle of fruit picking versus tattie rogueing? The Midgie puts them to the test.

Fruit picking

Fruit picking season generally lasts from May through until August and is as simple as it sounds; your job is to pick the ripe and ready fruit - usually strawberries or raspberries - and payment is generally based upon the weight of the fruit you have managed to pick.

You get to eat the fruit as you work - this is widely accepted and is why you are paid by weight (i.e. to ensure there is an incentive to at least save some fruit from the tummy monster).
You don’t need any particular skill and it’s not too strenuous.
And as well as picking there is also often the opportunity to help out with weighing and packing - and sometimes even jam making!

As casual work goes, it is not very well paid and you will have to pick a lot of fruit to make a decent profit.
Fruit is also full of sugar and if you eat too much you may feel queasy - and no one is likely to give you much sympathy, in fact they’re more likely to call you mean names like ‘fruit face’.

Fairly light work, but not that well paid. Still, the opportunity to eat berries straight from the plant means that fruit picking gets the thumbs up from us. 9/10

For a comprehensive listing of fruit picking farms visit

Tattie rogueing

Tattie rogueing season is from mid-June until August and it is a physical task that involves digging up any diseased - or ‘rogue’ - looking potato plants, to help ensure that the following season’s crop will be uncontaminated. Payment will usually be per hour and minimum wage upwards is standard.

As it is strenuous work, it is generally one of the better paid farm jobs and so a season of tattie rogueing can be quite profitable.
It is a good way to get fit, as all the digging is great for building up a sweat and you will effectively be exercising as you earn.
It is a satisfying job, in that you are ensuring the following year’s crop will be pure - i.e. you’re helping make happy potatoes!

You are going to get dirty and tired; digging around in the earth is neither clean nor gentle labour and you’ll be required to have good physical fitness. Plus, raw potatoes aren’t any good for munching on - so we’re afraid you’re going to have to pack your own snacks for this one.

Tattie rogueing is well paid and satisfying work, but the mud, hard labour and lack of edible perks means it is not suited to everyone. 7/10

For more farming job information and vacancy listings visit

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