[Market-farming] Harvest cart - Crawler or Drangen

MAsteveINE MAsteveINE at 207me.com
Tue Aug 23 08:04:22 EDT 2011

Mechanical harvest  (last time I checked) required that the crop be seeded, 
herbacides applied and them rolled to flatten and compress the surface as
any loose or rough soil would be sucked up by the harvester and ruin the product
IOW no cultivation or running about out there setting irrigation pipe.

Then, for a few bushels at a time the problem becomes  finding crew enough to run the 
machine for a few minutes is as difficult as finding hand pickers for hours.

Ive always had to do stoop labor on hands and knees, and now have peas on 
"fence" and a Harbor Freight seat on wheels for doing lots of picking and
transplanting; both in field and greenhouse. DB, on the other hand, was an
excellent bean and cucumber picker 60 years ago and these days will bend
for chores all afternoon without complaint. 

Pole beans (Fortex) here get a strip of black plastic mulch with drip tube; 8 foot
wood posts driven in 10 feet appart, a run of smooth wire at the top and another
a few inches from the ground. Round baler twines run from wire to wire; seeding
3 seeds at 6 inch spacing thinned to 2 plants is excessive, have a planting of
one plant per foot which looks like it will be easier to work in.


I would be interested in any ergonomy tips people may have about picking
beans.  Personally, beside hiring someone to do it, I am considering two
strategies: growing pole beans, and getting a mechanized bean harvester.

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