Introduction: Two Vastly Improved Fruit Pickers

Picture of Two Vastly Improved Fruit Pickers

You can get a fruit picker at almost any hardware store. The problem is they're heavy, bulky and require carrying extension poles. We decided to see if we could make a better fruit picker: lightweight, smaller, easier to carry on a bike and having a longer range.

In the end, we ended up with two improved fruit pickers: one is bulkier yet lighter, and easier to deal with ($26 for parts), the other packs down to 3' long, is slightly heavier, but has a huge range (parts cost approx $68).

We hope this will help you make the right fruit picker for you. For the hobbyist fruit-hunter, the less-expensive "painter's pole" style should be fine, for you regular pedal powered gleaners, we recommend the telescoping "Gaffer's Fish Pole" style.

Step 1: Assemble the Materials.

Picture of Assemble the Materials.

Assemble all your materials: A can of scrap white paint, a fruit picker head, tennis racket handle tape and a 4-8' telescoping painters pole, OR (for the Cadillac of fruit pickers) a 3 - 12' Gaffer's Fish Pole.

You will need a small screwdriver and a small paintbrush.

Step 2: Screw It!

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For the Gaffer's Fish Pole style: wrap the tip with the grip tape or bike innertubes until you can slide the picker head on and screw it into place.

For the Painter's Extension Pole style: Screw the basket into place

Step 3: (Optional) Paint Half the Basket for Contrast.

Picture of (Optional) Paint Half the Basket for Contrast.

Paint the front of the basket white or lighter than the rest of the basket. This will make it easier to see what fruit you're picking when it's twenty feet above you in a tree

Step 4: Go Fruit Picking

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Take your new fruit picker out for a spin. Notice how much easier it is to just unscrew and extend, rather than having to carry and attach an extension pole.

Comments

porterlu (author)2014-10-26

Very nice, and excellent idea to paint the open side of the basket white. However, can you provide a link/brand/retail example of your 3'-12' telescoping "Gaffer's Fish Pole"? Google and hardware site searches have not yielded any usable results.

porterlu (author)porterlu2014-10-26

Ah-ha, I just found the "Fruit Picker's Supply List" on your website which had the link to the fishpole. It's no longer a valid URL but here is the updated one (it has a drop-down selector for different sizes).

http://www.markertek.com/product/mfp-2/2-section-f...

The search for "Gaffer's Fish Pole" and variations was only resulting in poles for fishing, whereas these are boom poles for filmmakers - lighting gaffers, grips and sound mixers.

treesneedtobehugged (author)2009-07-06

nice instructable and could you put a video of you using your fruit pickers :)

Thanks! Check out the video from CBS5 - it features Neighborhood Fruit founders picking fruit in Dolores Park - using Vastly Improved Pickers!

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Bio: Neighborhood Fruit helps people find and share fruit locally, both backyard bounty and abundance on public lands. 10,000 trees nationwide and counting! Join us ... More »
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