JOHN MILLER

Enormous machines move like great robot insects between the rows of trees planted at a minute-precise distance from each other, and shake the almond trees to make the fruits fall. John Miller is standing at one end of the orchard, observing the harvest. “Blowers” suck up the almonds on the ground and the seasonal workers sort them on a conveyer belt. Miller is satisfied. “These almond trees were pollinated by bees that came from Australia, the almonds grew in the US and now they’re sent to Spain where they’ll be peeled and grilled. Then they’ll take a plane to Japan, where they’ll be used for the preparation of a traditional dessert. It will have taken four continents to make a cake. A gigantic collective performance, if you will.” Yet, all the self-derision in the world won’t fool anyone: John Miller has doubts. He is one of the wheels in a mechanism that generates billions of dollars of income, but it is obvious that this unlimited growth cannot be maintained indefinitely. Miller can’t jump ship. Agricultural economy needs bees, and he needs this job.