Many people are bashful when talking about their paychecks, but Hans Berg is not. He is both candid and grateful when it comes to his Red Wiggler salary. “I love the job here because it’s good money,” he explains.
Hans has worked at Red Wiggler ever since he found the farm through Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children, Inc. (CSAAC) in 2009. Red Wiggler was designed to create meaningful and inclusive employment — including meaningful paychecks — for people with developmental disabilities. The Arc states that on average, workers with disabilities face significant gaps in pay and compensation, compared to workers with no disability.
Hans, who has received several raises since he first started, is grateful that his job “helps me support the things I want to do in my own life.” Things like hosting July Fourth cookouts, watching fireworks displays, and eating corn on the cob (his favorite).
But the money isn’t the only thing Hans appreciates about working at Red Wiggler. He also enjoys the work itself — and there’s a lot of it. He explains that he and the other Growers “work very hard for Red Wiggler Farm.” Some of Hans’ duties include putting down row covers, planting, composting, and mowing whenever it’s needed.
Hans is gifted with dates. Some of his favorite dates of the year include the annual Harvest Celebration (this year, on September 16), a campfire Red Wiggler held last November to celebrate the end of the year, and the farm’s annual bowling Christmas party for staff and Growers. Though the bowling party is a favorite among staff, Hans has a unique reason to love it; every year, he delights the rest of the staff with Christmas carols that he learned growing up.
At the end of the day, Hans’ philosophy on work is refreshing and to the point. As he says, “I like my job and I want to keep it.”