Maine is harvesting a huge crop of wild blueberries this year. For the families, that means walking out and picking blueberries by hand. But if you’re a serious blueberry picker, chances are you have a blueberry rake.
Rakes are available in the one-handed, two-handed and reverse handled varieties, and these are not your standard garden style rakes. They look more like the top of an electric haircutting device if you happened to be a giant.
Maine harvests most of the wild blueberries in the world, and we have our own blueberry rake manufacturer: Hubbard Rakes. (There may be others, but I couldn’t find them online.) Mr. Hubbard has worked with blueberry pickers to improve the strength of their rakes, so hopefully he will help create longer rakes.
Why? Because using a longer rake means less back pain. This according to a study at the University of Vermont, just released this past week. When they tested workers using the regular short handled rake (SHR) vs. the newer long handled rake (LHR), the study found: “Subjects used SHR for shorter work periods than LHR.” That translates to fewer blueberries picked, because of increased back pain from stooping.
So let’s move toward a longer rake, less pain, and more blueberries. More studies are necessary, but this is one improvement that really should be in the pipeline.
- Blueberry rakers working their way into shape as harvest gears up (bangordailynews.com)
- EMDC helping Maine blueberry growers, seasonal workers rake it in (bangordailynews.com)
- Washington County berry harvest bountiful (bangordailynews.com)
- Field of dreams… (lynettemia.wordpress.com)
- pickled blueberries (ofagatesandmadeleines.wordpress.com)
- Blueberry harvest on track to set record (cbc.ca)
- Simple Sunday – Stability and Blueberries (shoesonthewrongfeet.com)
- Maine blueberries producing biggest crop in a decade (bangordailynews.com)
- Wildflowers could help blueberry crop (cbc.ca)
- Blueberries pack a skin-boosting punch (lfpress.com)