Flower picking was mainly a job for women. May roses had to be picked early in the morning before it got too hot. As the rosebushes were low to the ground, workers had to bend down – it was backbreaking work. The harvested flowers were put into big hessian sacks and were delivered the same day to the perfumers in Grasse.
Orange blossom was harvested using double ladders. The women harvesters would let the blossoms fall onto wide canvas sheets swirled around the foot of the trees below. Once they had gathered the blossoms, leaves and twigs were painstakingly removed. In one day, each woman was capable of picking between 10 and 12 kg of orange blossom.
Fruit and vegetables were also grown in the St Paul countryside. After the war, a bus would come to pick up produce for the wholesale markets in Nice. Crates of peaches or artichokes were loaded up during the night, along with cages of chickens and rabbits.