Cherry tomato harvest started this week and the blackberries are not far behind. As much as I love both of these sweet little fruits they very are labor intensive to harvest.
I grow about 600 row feet of cherry tomatoes, so there are a lot of plants to pick. In the begin the tomatoes are ripening close to the ground, which means harvesting involves a lot of squatting. As I make my way down the row I hope for larger cherry tomatoes to fill up the baskets quicker, but cherry tomatoes tend to be pretty small so it can take a while to fill up a pint basket. I always look forward to the larger heirloom tomatoes, when they are ready, the harvesting seems to go quicker.
I have a small patch of blackberries just a hundred feet or so, but during the short 5 week season I get a decent yield harvesting twice a week. During the season I harvest the blackberries first thing in the morning since they are so delicate. I can only grab 1 or 2 berries at time so as not to squash them and I have to be focused to avoid the thorns. Because of this, I find it to be a very zen activity as you have to respect the space you are given to reach the berries. There is always a perfect plump juicy berry just out of arm’s reach, instead of over reaching and possibly falling into the thorns I leave that one, for the birds.