Fruit picking

This page was last edited on 8 October 2017, at 12:36.

Fruit picking or fruit harvesting is a seasonal activity (paid or recreational) that occurs during harvest time in areas with fruit growing wild or being farmed in orchards.

Orchard ladders in old farmstead apple orchard British Columbia, Canada, 2005

Types of fruit

Apple picking

Apfelernte Steiermark 01
Apple picking in Styria

Apple picking is an activity found at apple farms. Apple orchards may be opened to the public, allowing consumers to pick their own apples or purchase pre-picked apples.[1][2]

Although this is ultimately a method of purchasing apples, it is often a social activity as well. Apple picking is often a very popular dating ritual in the American Midwest. Apple orchards catering to a family outing will provide additional activities beyond the picking of apples. Many have petting zoos, restaurants and country shops that sell related products such as home-made jams and jellies. This aspect of the activity is especially popular in the Northeastern United States & Southern Ontario and Southern Québec in Canada.

The apples that fall off the trees are often used to make apple cider. Apple cider is a juice made grinding the apples, then pressing out the juice.


Polytunnels and caravans - - 1198694
Fruit-growing polytunnels with caravans for the mainly Eastern European fruit workers conveniently parked behind, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, March 2009

Most fruit picking is done by migrant workers, who can be paid relatively low wages. In California, Mexican migrants are most frequently doing the work.[3] There has been much controversy about replacing workers with automation. It puts many out of work.

In Australia and New Zealand a lot of fruit picking work is done by backpackers on a Working Holiday Visa. The Australian government encourages people on this visa to do this sort of work for a minimum of three months so they can add another year to their visa. This benefit is not for all parts of Australia, you must undertake work in selected post codes to be eligible for the extra year.[4]


As labor costs are still quite expensive in fruit picking, robots are being designed that can replace humans for this kind of work.[5][6] The research is still in full progress, especially as the robots need to be carefully designed so that they do not bruise the fruit while picking.[7] One solution is the use of suction grippers.[8] Citrus fruit robot pickers have thus far been the focus of research and development, but cherry pickers are also being researched.[9]

Fruit picking in art

The Fall of Man by Lukas Cranach

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Paradise (detail), 1530

Christian Berentz - Flowers, Fruit with a Woman Picking Grapes - WGA1936

Christian Berentz, Flowers, Fruit with a Woman Picking Grapes, 1696

William-adolphe bouguereau the grape picker

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, The grape picker, 1875

Gauguin La r%C3%A9colte

Paul Gauguin, La récolte or Homme cueillant des fruits, 1897

Rippl Fruit-picking Women

József Rippl-Rónai, Fruit-picking Women ('Gyümölcsszedő hölgyek)

August Macke Obsternte 1913

August Macke, Obsternte, 1913

Frantisek Jakub Obsternte

František Jakub (Czech, 1875 - 1940), Obsternte, by 1950

See also


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