Saturday, March 03, 2007

Berry Pickers - Thinking in 3D

Those of you who saw Ray Mears' latest series on Wild Food will no doubt have come across the idea of a berry picker. Commercial designs tend to look like some sort of huge bearpaw such as this Swedish Berry Picker. However on the BCUK forum there was a competition thread about making homemade alternatives.
As you read about me harvesting some willow shoots a few weeks ago I eventually got around to weaving some sort of berry picker type device. As Torjus pointed out the prongs are probably far too widely space for it to be effective. However as it was the first basket thing I've ever made I'm fairly happy with it and the next one will no doubt be better designed and tighter. There is also the problem that looking at all the almost perfect made items on messge boards people don't tend to share the less than brilliant examples. As a teacher I think people can learn as much from a wonderful example as from something kind of ugly like this!

Whilst weaving in my kitchen I was struck by a bolt of inspiration - what about a really quick field version. Unfortunately in both my Kitchen and many woods empty Coke bottles are more common than willow trees. Seizing this idea my new Mora swiftly turned an old drinks bottle into what I have dubbed the Lazy Womble Berry Picker.

As I said - Neither would probably be that effective but I did make them. I hope It has sparked off some ideass of your own - I'd love to see some better ones in the competition!


torjusgaaren said...

As I suggested on bcuk. Making a rim for a plastic can (broad type) would probably make for a fairly good Evenk berry picker.

I can clearly see that you have understood the concept of basketry from your basket picker. A tip in addition to make tighter spacing between the teeth is to make the bottom of the basket wider, otherwise the berries will very easily fall out.