Harvesting tools

Panama type varieties are typically harvested direct from the vine and farmers will do a series of ‘picks’ through the vine rows selecting the most mature and ripe fruit on each occasion.

Purple varieties fall to the ground when they are ready for harvesting, meaning that the fruit needs to be collected from the ground in between the rows at least once per day during the harvest period.  For some regions, harvesting can take place across 10 months of the year with a series of peaks in volumes.  Once the fruit has detached from the vine and fallen, it can deteriorate very quickly in heat and direct sunlight if it is not collected, graded and packed for the fresh market.

It is the harvesting of passionfruit in both panama and purple varieties which is highly labour intensive and a large contribution to the input costs of farming this delicious fruit.

Where can you buy a Roll-in?

W:     http://rollin.com.au/

E:     [email protected]

T:     02 6040 4808

What size of Roll-in works best?

The PRO-Large is the most effective and efficient size to use.  It is lightweight and comes with a release bracket which can easily be attached to a bucket or basket for rapid emptying.

Who is already using Roll-ins to harvest their passionfruit?

Anton Stretch at Passiondale and Jane Richter at Vines with a View have been using the Roll-ins for about 12 months.  Both are happy to offer demonstrations on their farms – just drop them an email.

There are many ways to pick up the fruit from the ground; bending over & picking up by hand (back-breaking!), using a grabber-type tool (RSI injury waiting to happen) or using another type of tool to pick up the fruit & deposit it into a bucket/basket without bending over.

Some farms are successfully using a tool originally designed to rapidly collect golf balls at driving ranges.  The Roll-in is a cage of flexible tensile wires, secured at either end into a frame which creates a rolling ball of wires.  As the wires are pressed over a round object they part and then spring back into place behind the object thus collecting it into the wire cage.

 PRO’s

  • all about speed & efficiency
  • enables you to collect large quantities of fruit very quickly
  • when attached to a long handle, the Roll-in gives you access to a wide picking area whilst walking down the centre of a row making collection more efficient
  • weighs less than 1 kg when empty
  • with an experienced picker, you can pick as fast as you can walk
  • the release bracket can be attached to a bucket or basket for easy emptying
  • with the right picking style, using a Roll-in does not mark the fruit in any way
  • kit comes with spare wires for maintenance & repairs
  • easy to clean

CON’s

  • incorrect technique can result in minor fruit marking
  • cost approx. $100 per item

“If we didn’t have the Roll-ins, we couldn’t manage our farm without extra labour.  These things save us a fortune!  Jane & I can pick half a tonne of fruit in a couple of hours using the Roll-ins whereas we used to have pickers costing us $100’s each week.”

John Richter