BRENTWOOD -- Ron Enos isn't exactly trumpeting his film debut -- he says most of his friends have no idea he's on the Internet.

But thousands of others have seen the 49-year-old Brentwood farmer, who landed a starring role in one of five short documentaries that appeared on YouTube earlier this month offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of individuals doing physically demanding work.

Shell Oil Company financed the project not to tout its line of lubricants ("The engine oil that works as hard as you do"), but to help the public better understand the challenges those truck drivers and heavy equipment operators face every day, said Chris Guerrero, the product's global brand manager.

Farmer Ron Enos sits in his pickup truck on his farm in Brentwood on Nov. 19, 2013. Enos turned up on YouTube earlier this month -- not in an amateur
Farmer Ron Enos sits in his pickup truck on his farm in Brentwood on Nov. 19, 2013. Enos turned up on YouTube earlier this month -- not in an amateur family video, but in a series of five profiles of individuals who have physically demanding jobs. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Staff)

In addition to Enos, the vignettes feature a Michigan snowplow driver, a cattle rancher in Utah, a Mendocino County logger and a retired New York City firefighter who volunteered to rebuild homes and businesses flattened by Hurricane Sandy.

A production company contacted Enos this spring asking if a crew could shadow him over the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff of East County's summer harvest season when thousands flock to U-pick farms like his to taste the first fruits of growers' labors.

Over the course of two days, a camera crew filmed Enos hustling among his cherry, peach and nectarine orchards hoisting bins of the just-harvested fruit into the back of his truck to take to the farm stand. During the four-minute video he notes that the 24 acres he's dedicated to organic farming entails significantly more hands-on effort than the conventional approach.

It's not a career for those who put a premium on sleep and 40-hour workweeks, but it's what Enos knows and loves.

Representing the sixth generation of farmers on his mother's side and the third on his father's, Enos grew up working in the family business.

He continued working with his dad after college, striking out on his own during a seven-year stay in Australia where he cultivated a wide assortment of grape varieties.

These days Enos grows a cornucopia of produce on his 49 acres that ranges from grapefruits, Mandarin oranges and lemons to butternut squash and sugar pie pumpkins.

Typically up at 5 a.m. and in the fields within 30 minutes, he's usually on the go until sundown and maintains the 12-hour-a-day pace year around.

His days start even earlier in the summer, when Enos rises at 3 a.m. to deliver fresh pickings to Bay Area grocery stores in Berkeley and Lafayette.

In the space of several hours earlier this week, Enos had hand-watered 3,000-plus fava beans and garlic plants that he'd transplanted the day before to ensure the soil was firm around their roots.

"As hard as this looks, it's what I choose," he said.

And Enos points out that although he was singled out for the video, his labors are far from unique.

"There's a lot of people who work just as hard. I don't find myself all that special," he said.

To watch Enos' YouTube video, go to http://bit.ly/1cA5fzr

Contact Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.

ON VIDEO
To watch Enos' YouTube video, go to http://bit.ly/1cA5fzr