Saturday, October 30, 2010

Harvest Time

On Wednesday we got the call - to pick KIWIS!! João's father grows kiwis as his main source of income.  He watches his crop closely, and once the fruit reaches the desired sugar content, it's time to pick.  We were happy to be a part of the group of friends and family who headed into the fields.

Our first up-close look at these large plants revealed that the fruit grows on vines draped over 6 foot trellises.  The kiwis were HUGE - much bigger than what I've seen in stores at home. Male plants are lovely and definitely come in handy for pollination, but they do not bear fruit (no comment).  It's the females that produce 50-100 pounds of fruit per vine!!  We got a good workout reaching and squatting to pick the fruit and it didn't take long to fill our first buckets. 

Bucket after bucket - all dumped into large bins that each held about 700 pounds of fruit.  After 4 hours of work, Eric and I had picked a combined total of 2000 pounds of fruit!

Cute little critters were a welcome distraction when our muscles needed a break.

After helping to pick about half of this year's crop which will be around 30,000 pounds, we joined the rest of the group for some delicious grilled pork (possibly a relative of the cute porcine friend in the photo above) and sampled the new wine made from this year's grape harvest.  The meal was tasty and satisfying, but at that point I would have been happy eating a pile of dirt.  ~Peggy

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