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Ground Cloths for Harvesting

Posted by Brittany Kordick 
Ground Cloths for Harvesting
June 22, 2022 08:21PM
We have a few varieties of apples that are tricky to keep track of harvest-wise since they ripen gradually and tend to just drop over a course of weeks. Rather than our usual try and keep up with them and keep the grass mowed at the right time and for the duration under the canopies, for next year we're interested in putting out harvest cloths or netting to catch them as they drop for more efficient pickup and better sanitation. My grandfather had an olive orchard, so I'm familiar with the harvest netting that olive growers lay out at harvest time to catch the olives and gather them up for easier collection. Definitely would want something similar, that allows water to pass through in the event of rain, won't tear when you step on it. I was wondering if any of you cidermakers are doing anything like this currently and can recommend a particular product or type of product. I know people have at least mentioned being interested in European style tree-shaking cider apple harvest wherein you cause all the apples to fall down and pick them up.

One difference with what we're looking for is that we'd like to put a material down that stays down for a couple or few weeks for these gradual harvest trees, rather than a material that's put down for a one-time harvest and picked right back up again. Haven't figured out how we'd handle any spray needs or other tractor-driven tasks since our trees grow together and much or most of the aisle would have to be covered and potentially driven over, as well. We're also wanting to do blocks of trees all at once, so probably looking for larger footprints than per tree dimensions of 12' by 12' or some such (although, if it was cost effective to do it per tree, not opposed to it). I know there's lots of stuff to think about repurposing, such as hail netting, but I'm kind of surprised that I haven't seen anything in orchard supply depots like Oesco specifically like I'm hoping to find. A bonus would be if the material somehow mitigated bruising, but I think that's wishful thinking unless they made this genius Fruit Collector product on a much larger scale and at a lower price (but this sure would be great for homeowners or very small orchards): [www.greenhousemegastore.com].

Kordick Family Farm
Westfield, NC
Zone 7a

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/22/2022 08:23PM by Brittany Kordick.
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