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which may be made by any handy man. The fruits are hooked off by the V-shaped trigger at the top,

and are delivered to the picker through the canvas or burlaps bag which extends along the handle. Of course, only fruit


Fig. 84. Cook's apple picker.


should be allowed to go through the bag at a time. Another very handy device is the finger picker, illustrated at No. 13.

This may be made by any handy tinsmith, who, however, should be cautioned against making it too heavy and cumbersome. In this instance, the apple is delivered to the picker by taking down the instrument. The disadvantage of this tool is that the fingers are apt to spring with use, and the apple will pull through between them rather than be pulled off. There are also devices in use for catching the fruit when it is shaken from the tree or bush. These are usually upon the principle of a soft cloth hopper

NOTE.-Key to Fig. 83: No. 1, picker composed of two pincer-like jaws, with wire guards to receive the fruits, the jaws being closed by means of a cord, which is worked below (2 and 3) by a catch; 4, hook used for cutting off the fruits (the curved edge being sharp); 5, V-picker with delivery sack; 6, Bag-picker, hung on a wire frame (as shown in 7); 8, a wire finger-picker; 9, cranberry picker; 10, 6-quart cranberry measure; 11, 12, 13, forms of wire pickers.

Fruit-picking Machines.


(see Fig. 84). Such machines are often very useful in the gathering of black currants and gooseberries. For these purposes inverted umbrellas are sometimes used. Cherries are sometimes gathered by being shaken into the machines used for the catching of curculios. It is needless to say that these

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Fig. 85. Batting the berries.

means of gathering fruit are advisable only when the fruit is to be manufactured into some commercial product, or when the price of fruit is extremely small.

To lessen the cost of harvesting, and to overcome the difficulty of securing pickers in remote places, a harvester for raspberries has come into use

in New York state. This is a canvas tray, made by stretching the cloth over a light wooden frame about three feet wide and four or five feet long. At the bottom, the frame projects upwards at right angles to the body of the frame to a distance of five or six inches, to catch the berries as they fall upon the canvas. A wooden shoe or runner is placed on the bottom of the apparatus, to allow the operator to slide it along from bush to bush, as shown in Fig. 85. A long wire hook (Fig. 86) is used to pull the bushes over the tray or to lift up the fallen canes, whilst with the other hand the operator deftly cuffs off the berries with a paddle of wood or of wire covered with canvas and about the size of a butter ladle.

Fig. 86.

The harvester is used only for the gathering of berries which are to be evaporated. The berries are allowed to become fully ripe, so that they fall easily, and the patch is gone over about three times. Much litter falls with the berries, but this is readily removed by running the dried fruit through a fanning mill. There are few growers who use this harvester exclusively. It is often brought into requisition for the last picking, or in seasons of low prices, and it also has a most stimulating effect upon a lot of disaffected berry pickers. The device was first perfected by Mr. Benedict, of Dundee, New York, although

*Bulletin 100, Cornell Exp. Sta.

Batter's hook.

Keeping Fruit After Picking.

the idea seems to have originated with Uriah Hair, of the same place.

After fruit is picked, it is very important that it should be kept cool and away from the direct sun. This is particularly important with the soft and berry-like fruits, like grapes, strawberries, cherries and peaches. The fruits not only ripen up rapidly after they are picked if the sun strikes them, but they may also become so warm that they will not withstand shipment. It is ordinarily best to pick the perishable fruits early in the morning, if they are dry, and then to pack them up tight and send them directly to the railway station; or, if they have become too warm, or if it is desired to delay the shipment, then they should be put in the cellar or a cold storage in order to reduce them to a low temperature. If the soft fruits, like strawberries and raspberries, are treated in this way, they will ordinarily endure shipment best if they are sent in tight, unventilated crates. Apples ripen up very rapidly in the pile if they are exposed directly to the rays of the sun. It is always well, therefore, if they are piled in the field, to place them on the shady side of the tree, if possible; but, no doubt, the very best results in long-keeping qualities are obtained when the apples are taken directly from the trees to a cool room and there kept in storage, where the ripening process is wholly or partially checked. This is especially important if they are to be shipped long distances, and particularly if they are to be exported. If the weather is cool and somewhat dull at the picking


time, this precaution is not so essential as it is in falls which are dry, bright and warm.

Keeping records with the pickers.-There are various methods of keeping accounts with berry pickers. Perhaps the commonest mode in large patches is a simple ticket, like Fig. 87, which is given to the

picker in exchange for the berries which are delivered. There are tickets of various denominations, the figures representing quarts, so that any number of quarts can be represented by combinations of tickets. These tickets are SO often lost that they may soon come to be a nuisance, although some growers prefer

them for this very reason, for all that are lost do not have to be redeemed. Several growers, therefore, have designed tickets which can be tied to the person by a string, which bear the picker's name, and in which the numbers are cancelled by a punch. Two good styles are shown, half-size, in Figs. 88 and 89. In the latter are two styles of punch marks, representing different foremen. Other growers abolish all ticket systems outright, and keep a book account with each picker; and, what is better, they pay by the pound. A small, flat-topped grocers' scale may be taken to the shed in the berry field. Each picker is numbered, and he picks in an eight-pound or ten-pound Climax


C. H. Gould.

Fig. 87. Picker's ticket.

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