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Tart Cherry Harvest
Photo album page 7
We are coming to the end of a row of trees now and the crew has gotten into a steady rhythm. Up front on the left side of the row of trees, Jim is moving the shaker up to the trunk of each tree, clamping on and shaking the cherries. The shaking needs to be done carefully to avoid damaging the trees. Scuffs or breaks in the trunk can create sites for future infections and weaken the tree. Of our oldest trees, we have 90% still surviving. They are 21 years old.
|The forklifts are taking the cherries out and bringing more tanks in. They have to move fast to keep up with the shaker crew, while at the same time not spilling too many cherries on the ground. This is where our custom forklifts really out perform tractors. They are powerful and fast enough to keep up with the shaker, and ride much more smoothly through the orchard. Today we are shaking about a mile from the cooling pad, so the forklifts are critical to get the cherries to the cooling pad quickly and safely.
Meanwhile, here is how it looks from up ahead of the crew as they finish shaking the last tree in this row. Notice in this action shot that the outer, smaller branches have been cleared of fruit while the inner ones are just now letting go of their fruit. This is achieved by shaking at different frequencies through the use of two energy wheels spinning opposite ways --- 100# each, offset from each other, plus bolt-on 20# weights. The shaker can send a variable shockwave through the tree by reving the engine to get different frequencies.
Now we'll hitch a ride with one of the outgoing forklifts and see the action back at the cooling pad.
Tart Cherry Harvest Photo Album