Before interviewing Cornelius (and anyone on the farm, for that matter), I explained what I am doing and why. Cornelius asked me why he always sees me taking photos and all these years why we need so many photos of him. I explained that we like to share with the members of the farm the faces of the people who do all the hard work growing food, and Cornelius brightened and nodded his head and agreed to let me take his photo and ask him some questions.
Many of the Jamaican workers have nicknames or pet names, but Cornelius is just Cornelius, middle name Nathan. He has been coming to Canada through the seasonal agricultural workers program for 9 years, and this is his 7th year at TapRoot Farms. He likes it here because he likes his boss, who he describes as "really friendly, and likes to talk and socialize". At the farm, Cornelius does planting, weeding, and some harvesting. He says he enjoys all parts of the job, because it offers a lot of variety and different things to do every day. His favourite crops to eat are string beans and lettuce.
Back in Jamaica, Cornelius is dedicated to volunteering and helping at his church. He says he is a "church person". Back home in Jamaica he used to farm, but doesn't anymore. He used to grow yams, bananas, and sugarcane. He has a wife of 4 years named Marlene, and three children-- though one passed away. His children are 20 and 26 years old.
Then Cornelius asked me some questions, specifically where I am from. I told him Manitoba, and he said "Winnipeg, Manitoba?" The town I am from is about 2 hours away, I explained. Cornelius went on to tell me that he has a brother who lives in Winnipeg. In his family he has 4 brothers and 8 sisters. He has lost touch with his brother in Winnipeg, but it was neat for us to make that connection! The rest of his family is all over the world, he mentioned England and the US. Thanks for letting us get to know you better, Cornelius!
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