Favorite picking bucket
September 07, 2017 06:29AM
What do folks recommend for a picking bucket? Will it serve for picking peaches as well as apples and pears, or is there a different style that works better for peaches? I would not be letting peaches roll out the bottom, I shouldn't think, but taking them out and placing them gently in lugs.

Turkey Creek Orchard
Solon, Iowa (zone 5A)
Re: Favorite picking bucket
September 12, 2017 01:41AM
For my part I have never liked the standard picking buckets, and I use backpacks, sometimes slightly modified, that I wear in the front. The bottom is soft, which I prefer, and I find they are easier to work around with.
Some models do work better than others... I have quite a number of them, having had 3 kids who wouldn't want to keep the same one for more than 2 or 3 years...

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Author, The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Re: Favorite picking bucket
December 07, 2017 05:13AM
I just saw this:

Seems to me this could work well as a bag/basket when apple picking, with an easy release of the apples for discharge.
Anyone has tried it?
I think I will ask my wife for one as Xmas gift...

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Author, The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Re: Favorite picking bucket
December 08, 2017 11:04PM
I have a similar version of this apron which I have used for a number of years, (and which I think I originally got through Lee Valley.) Mine however differs in several important respects:
1) Mine has a rigid semi-circular support in the top rim which holds the top open. Note how the current model from Lee Valley is soft, requiring the operator to hold it open with his other hand to deposit material.
2) Mine is quite a bit deeper, (so it will hold more before needing to be emptied). (But I have no problem with the weight of a full basket being too much)
3) Mine came with Velcro fasteners to hold the tail of the bag up. The L-V one has a much superior system consisting of cords in jam cleats. I modified mine by getting a sail maker to install "turn grommets", (oval catches that go through a matching grommet, and then turn 90 degrees to lock them). These work fairly well, but occasionally unlock themselves.
4) Mine has an ingenious system of tapes to support it, while the L-V has a much wider harness arrangement. The L-V one looks more functional. BUT, the narrower tapes on mine are both simpler, and wholly satisfactory functionally and comfort-wise.

Mine has a label with remarkably full and detailed information as to manufacture. It was made by AES Global in LĂ©vis, Quebec. I contacted them, and they no longer make these aprons. (They are, however, a source for all manner of biopesticides like BTK, Beuvaria and nematodes if you are looking for same). They referred me to Derco Horticulture, in L'Ancien Lorette, QC. They at first denied having any remaining stock of the aprons made by AES Global, but when I found it in their catalogue, acknowledged that they did in fact have them, (Cat # 32-313).

My personal take is that the old AES aprons are considerably superior to what Lee valley is now selling, and as long as you are willing to improve the fixation of the bottom of the apron, I would send your good wife off to Derco rather than Lee Valley. (It is a little unclear to me whether Derco considers themselves a retail operation or a wholesaler. Before heading off to Ancien Lorette, (wherever that might be), it might be wise to contact their HQ in St. Germain de Grantham, (again, wherever this may be in Quebec).

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Re: Favorite picking bucket
December 21, 2017 10:11AM
We use the professional version of the picking bag from Lee above. It is available from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply and other orchard suppliers in Washington state. It is deeper, has a semi-rigid room to hold it open, and has metal clips instead of rope to open the bottom to let the apples out. It comes in two sizes and lasts a long time.

Fruitilicious Farm
Zone 9b in California
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