Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Apple picking

This worked better than expectation. I lashed a 15' length of 4", corrugated, plastic drain tile to one leg of the 8' step ladder I use to pick apples.
Next time I will also lash a one-by-two to the leg so the open end will be twenty or thirty inches above the top and will be located in a repeatable location.
This is the Liberty apple tree the ever-lovely Mrs ERJ and I picked today.
It appears that even tree frogs favor Liberty apples.
Liberty is our favorite apple for making apple sauce. These are still just a little bit under-ripe for that use but they should be fine in a week.
We picked about a hundred and fifty pounds of apples off that tree in a bit less than an hour. I estimate that it tripled our productivity when we were picking from the ladder. We could pick two-handed and not have to stop to carry apples down the ladder to the box.

What the pictures fail to show is that we ran the bottom end of the drain tile into a large, poly bag. As long as the tube sloped downward, it did not clog up and delivered the apples to the bag.

Fifteen feet is longer than optimal (because it was difficult to keep it sloping downward for its entire length) but it is much easier to make the drain tile shorter. I plan to cut a couple of feet off the piece for the next tree we pick.


  1. Nice work! Work smarter, not harder.

  2. Up here in this part of Maine there are thousands of acres of apple orchards. We use ladders that come together at the top of the rungs to poke into the tree branches easier. Also part of the harvesters tool kit is a basket that straps to the chest with a canvas bottom that unloads the fruit into 20 bushel bins. Think backpack worn backwards. Our biggest secret is Jamaican harvesters come to stay for the harvest and man those guys can go thru an orchard quick. My best day is around 80 bushel picked. The Jamaicans have that by lunch break, and they are gentile with the fruit.


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