( Gavin emptying his bag into the bin )Avocado picking started yesterday, the first pick for this season. Using 3 hydraladas and pickers / drivers ,Gavin, Lisa and Justin. They have all picked here before. R and I did the ground picking - we can reach about 12 foot high using the long handled picker. Some I can reach just standing on the ground.( but I have to carry them in a big picking apron around my neck that's the tiring part ) ( the top avo block is also on a slope so I try and walk downhill with a full bag .) R also moves the bins and takes the full ones back to the shed in the shade till evening when the truck arrives to take them to the packhouse. It was a long very tiring day for us. R likes to use a bin trailer so 3 bins can be transported at once, but when he towed the bin trailer over to the top block where we started picking, (getting ready on Sunday afternoon ); the wheel fell off. He then had to get it back to the loading area again with one wheel ( whoever made it did a very minimal welding job - no wonder it broke! )
Luckily yesterday nothing else went wrong. It was slow picking as we were picking to size the smaller fruit being left on the trees to size up and be picked in a couple of months time.We got 13 bins yesterday. It should pack out well as mostly it was good clean well shaped fruit.
If the fruit had all been in close clusters like this it would have been quicker.
When avos are directly exposed to the sun they get sunburnt ( just like us ). First they turn yellow then red. This is the most red one I have ever seen. It is not exportable being this colour.
It is not easy to get good clear photos of the pickers working as they as often hidden well inside the trees. Here is Lisa showing girls can do anything. She is a really careful, reliable, happy worker.
The 3 hydralas should be finished by lunch-time today. My picking from the ground finished yesterday. Today I will just check the fruit in the bins before they get sent to the packinghouse where they are graded and packed into trays for export to Australia ( maybe some to Japan or other parts of Asia - haven't been told where they are going yet. ) The rejected or non exportable ones get graded further some going onto the local domestic market the lesser grade get made into avocado oil which is delicious and very good for us. So eat up your avos everyone please we would appreciate a decent price so we actually cover our costs.