Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wild Weather and Kiwifruit.

Yesterday was very, very stormy. High winds knocked over pot plants, blew leaves and small branches around the property. I don't think I have ever tried to photograph wind before. It doesn't show very well. ( I need to use a slow speed shutter )The giant bamboo plants in the middle are bending and the gums were too, creaking and groaning , but it hardly shows. Today is less windy and fine for a while then another shower and so on again and again. Some neighbours down the road are attempting to pick their gold Kiwifruit. They must be getting it wet.....but days are marching on and little fine weather has occurred. ( all the time the fruit is getting riper and harder to handle carefully. )
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During the weekend( and night shift ) our Kiwifruit was packed.  We went over on Sunday to see the last couple of hours . As a few  of you are still interested in things kiwifruit  I will show a few photos.
The bins of fruit are tipped onto rollers just outside the packing shed and the fruit travels by rollers or moving belts seen here. These people are grading the fruit as it rolls infront of them and taking out rejects ( for shape , blemish, fungal scars  or pests. )  It then moves up the singulator which puts it into rows and stickers get automatically punched on.
The machine weighs it and drops it off according to it's weight at packing arms where it is laid into trays or packs.
This packer is straightening up the fruit to lie neatly in the tray. It is a tray containing 33 fruit.
The whole time the fruit is being packed the Quality Control staff are sampling trays and packs to check the fruit is within the allowances for defects, has the right number of fruit per pack are the correct weight or as seen here have NO pests. This QC is using a 3 times magnification lens and light to check for pests. ( they didn't find any - that is good;  it means our fruit may go to any market in the world. )

The trays and packs get tucked in, the tops pressed down and are then stacked on pallet bases and tightly strapped .
 This completed pallet has single layer trays of count 33 fruit. It has a sticker saying "Y" for our taste band - the top one! Therefore should taste the sweetest. Each tray on the pallet has a sticker giving size; our grower #;  pack date and packing shed code.

Each pallet has a pallet card detailing the size pack ;date packing; shed and coolstore code. This one is size 22 - that means they are very big ( jumbo ) fruit and only 22 can fit in a single layer tray. Everything of course has bar codes and peel off stickers for every point in the pallet's journey overseas.( the stickers aren't put on very straight are they? )
   Any fruit not quite meeting the class 1 grade standards might get a second chance and end up in a box like this

which is class 2 fruit and mainly gets sold in Australia.It just means the allowance for say a little mark is a bit more generous - the fruit will still taste as good, it may be slightly flatter ( which actually are the very best tasting fruit in my opinion. )
 So that is our packing done for this year. We have only one thing to grump about. We sent 244 bins of fruit to the shed. They only tipped /packed 243 - where is our other bin? ( which other grower got one of our bins? )
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Meanwhile back ( mainly inside because of the weather ) I have been cooking and cleaning and sewing and trip planning. I have made 4 nice heatproof mats ( 2 more to do ) with NZ fabric for a gift.  They are hand hemmed and machine quilted.

5 comments:

Molly said...

Always interesting to read your kiwi stories....Shame about the missing bin! When do you leave on your trip? Will we have to wait to hear all about it, or will you be blogging on the move? Bon Voyage!

Cottage Tails said...

Do we get any of your fruit in the supermarket here in NZ?
A huge mission no doubt - bet you are pleased it is nearly all over.
hope your bin turns up

Love Leanne

Isabelle said...

Very interesting.

Remember to get in touch if you're going to be in Edinburgh with any time to spare! I'd love to meet you.

Zizophora said...

Thank you for sharing the kiwifruit stories and photos! I had no idea the harvesting especially was such a huge operation. They seem so delicate; amazing that each fruit can withstand so much handling and sorting.

Guðrún said...

What is golden Kiwifruit?