"Springlike weather has finally arrived in Estonia, but for me, it is 23.5C every day. My charges at work grow three times my height in as many months, and provide fresh vegetables — which are technically actually fruits — for families across Estonia all year long. My name is Tatjana Maftulyak, and I am a cucumber grower at Grüne Fee Eesti in Lohkva.
I wake up very early for work — at 4:30 — six days per week. I check the weather forecast before leaving home, although the weather, so to speak, is more or less the same year round in the greenhouses — 23.5C and humid, although in summer it can climb above that when temperatures outside soar." This is said by Tatjana Maftulyak, as she talks about her day-to-day activities as a cucumber grower.
"During winter, the greenhouses are heated to maintain appropriate growing temperatures, but there are no air conditioning systems to cool them down during the hottest weather; we just open up the glass windows and pray.
"Our workday begins at six in the morning. Because of the warm, humid conditions in the greenhouses, our typical work uniform is shorts and a short-sleeved shirt with the company logo on it, although for some jobs we will wear long pants, long sleeves and head covers to protect us. I love warmth, though, and hate the cold, so sometimes I even feel like it's not warm enough in the greenhouse when I first get to work — I will actually feel chilly!"