EVA-Apples: Also your familiy is helping. How many hours are you working per day and how many bins (bins with a volume of around 250-300 Kilo in which the apples are put after picking) do you fill per day?
Karin: Our working day of course is very long. In average we are currently working 10 to 12 hours a day. After all we need to prepare all filled bins and make them ready for transport to the packhouse. Also we need to write delivery notes and so on… Everthing takes its time. Also the amount of bins, which we are filling per day is depending on the variety and also on the amount of helping hands. But I would say in average one person is filling 5-6 bins a day.
EVA-Apples: The harvest is divided into serval picking sessions. How many times do you need to work in the same yard and what is the focus in each picking session?
Karin: We are harvesting each variety at least twice, sometimes also three times and as here with Evelina we have 4 picking sessions. If we want to harvest the apples, which have the right ripeness, size and color it is inevitable to have serval picking sessions. If we would pick all fruits at once we would have different green and unripe apples as well as dark red apples all in the same bin.
EVA-Apples: Current trend is that apples are rather smaller this year. Is there any chance that the quality of the apples is improving during the various harvesting sessions? That means are they getting bigger or are they getting more color?
Karin: That is another good reason, why it is advisable to have serval sessions. The apples which are leaving on the tree are in general smaller or don´t have enough color. It takes a couple of days until we start the next harvesting session. In the meantime they could grow a little and get more color.
EVA-Apples: For an inexperienced person it is almost impossible to pick apples considering that they all need to have the required quality standards. What is your secret that you make sure you are really mainly pick the right apples?
Karin: The speed only for you seems very high. Once you have more routine you will notcie that it´s not that fast as you now think. Every worker works on a defined zone on the tree. That way everybody knows which apples they need to pick up. The green ones stay on the tree until one of the next harvesting sessions.