Author Topic: Has anyone done fruit picking for neighbors as a side gig or to get free fruit?  (Read 802 times)

firstmatedavy

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I noticed in November that some homes along my commute have BIG apricot trees that were only picked to about halfway up, or weren't picked at all. I was thinking about getting one of those extendible fruit picker thingies and asking the homeowners if they'd like me to pick the fruit for them in exchange for a share.

I don't know much about fruit trees, so I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. Have any of you done anything like this? Or does anyone see ways it could go horribly wrong?

(I'd probably use the fruit to make preserves or jam as Christmas gifts for people, or something like that. I gave homemade cookie dough + a small gift last Christmas, and it was a little less stressful than my usual shopping and seemed to go over well.)

lthenderson

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We have lots of fruit trees that we only pick part way up mostly because that is more fruit than we can deal with. I would definitely ask to pick them for a share and they may just give you all that you pick.

YttriumNitrate

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At my old apartment complex there was an old apple tree in the common area that I would pick. The grounds crew loved it because every apple I took was one less in the mess of fallen apples they had to clean up.

My guess is that many people will be quite receptive to you cleaning up their trees for them.

wbranch

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We have friends with trees that produce way more apples, plums and pears than they can use, it can be somewhat easy to find more fruit than you'll ever need. Getting processed is the problem. If you talk to people they probably won't want anything, but gifting them back some preserves or jam would probably be good.

Cassie

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If you fall off the ladder you could sue the homeowner. I solved this problem by buying a device that people can use from the ground. Then I let strangers use it to get the fruit. Itís a win win.

firstmatedavy

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If you fall off the ladder you could sue the homeowner. I solved this problem by buying a device that people can use from the ground. Then I let strangers use it to get the fruit. Itís a win win.

This is the sort of thing I was worried about. I was thinking of getting the longest handled fruit pickers I could find (my husband is interested in coming along) + maybe a step stool or something. Less risk for both me and the homeowner, and spares me from trying to fit a ladder into a camry.

firstmatedavy

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We have friends with trees that produce way more apples, plums and pears than they can use, it can be somewhat easy to find more fruit than you'll ever need. Getting processed is the problem. If you talk to people they probably won't want anything, but gifting them back some preserves or jam would probably be good.

I hadn't thought of gifting finished preserves, but that's a good idea too.

I really should try making a canned fruit recipe at least once before I inundate my tiny galley kitchen with fruit...

firstmatedavy

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I'll try my hand at canning this summer, and if it goes well, I'll find some fruit picking "clients".

YttriumNitrate

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I'll try my hand at canning this summer, and if it goes well, I'll find some fruit picking "clients".

I'd suggest looking into a dehydrator and an apple peeler. Dehydrating is a great way to preserve large quantities of fruit. From what I recall, with my old dehydrator I could process a five gallon bucket of apples a week.

firstmatedavy

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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I'll try my hand at canning this summer, and if it goes well, I'll find some fruit picking "clients".

I'd suggest looking into a dehydrator and an apple peeler. Dehydrating is a great way to preserve large quantities of fruit. From what I recall, with my old dehydrator I could process a five gallon bucket of apples a week.

Hm, I'd been considering a dehydrator for cherry tomatoes, if I end up with too many. (I don't have land, but I'm getting a community garden plot.) A peeler would be useful if there are hard fruits like apples and pears around. So far I've only seen pit fruits like apricots and peaches (which I don't think would hold up to a peeler? Idk), so I'll have to keep a lookout.