Questions about strawberry harvesting and post-harvest handling
How much fruit should I get from a plant?
You should get two to three punnets (500 to 750 g) of marketable fruit per plant per season (May to October) from most varieties. This assumes an average planting density of about 40,000 to 45,000 plants per hectare. Under high levels of management, some varieties have yielded four to six punnets per plant. New growers should aim for the lower figure first. If plant densities are higher, the yield per plant will be proportionally less.
Where can I get pickers?
Contact local employment agencies. They will be able to advise you of the availability of pickers. They often advertise to attract experienced pickers to the area. Otherwise you would need to advertise in the local paper.
How do I go about building a small cold room?
As designing a cold room is a specialised business, we recommend that you get expert advice. Contact your local electricity authority for technical advice. They can also give you the names of local refrigeration designers and builders. Also, think carefully about the advantages of forced-air systems to cool fruit rapidly. This may hold significant advantages for future quality management.