Soil is essentially designed to break matter down.

Harvesting fruit off the floor can therefore have a huge impact on quality with the introduction of spoilage bacteria causing rotting fruit.

Having nurtured high quality fruit throughout the season, we have always felt a little reticent to admit that brutally mechanically harvesting off the orchard floor and inflicting yet more damage with the need to wash and clean the fruit, was simply down to cost and convenience.

We believe that our customers deserve better value from their fruit and so invested in a “Shake and Catch” harvester to deliver this (albeit at a slightly higher cost).

This is as close as you can get to hand picked quality fruit but without the prohibitive expense.

This harvesting system is an excellent integration with our agroforestry and transition towards less intensive top fruit production.

Effectively the harvester operates by unfurling a giant “sail” beneath the canopy, a large gripper then clamps onto the trunk and shakes the fruit off. This drops onto the canopy which then retracts to place the fruit onto an unloading belt.

As this fills the bin or bulk bag, a giant fan blows leaves from the sample.

Another great advantage is that fruit can be immediately placed into the blast chiller to remove field heat.

There is a great video demonstrating the use of the harvester when we trialled in what was still our cider orchard

It also featured in the Countryfile 2021 harvest special – Harvesting of the future