Around mid summer row gaps are mowed with machinery, and our boys are forbidden from riding their bikes on the fields to prevent immature berries from falling ;-)
Currants love water and sun. Water swells the berries, increasing them in size, while the sun raises their sugar and vitamin levels. Sadly here in Finland it's rare that both happen at the same time.
Green currant ripens first: from mid July to the beginning of August.
Black currant ripens from the second week of August all the way to its end.
Berry pickers are invited before any machinery touches the fields. In other words: Welcome!
Harvest day must not be rainy, and as soon as the morning dew has dried the work can begin. Our farm has its own picking machine, which is attached to a tractor. The man of the house drives the tractor between the rows and adjusts the height at which the machine touches the plants. Meanwhile the wife climbs to the back of the machine and adjusts the settings as well as changes out full boxes.
The machine goes through one side of the bushes first, then the other. The berries are moved to a platform, where they are shaken off the branches. The branches are not damaged in the process.
From the platform the berries along with loose leafs move to another belt, which then takes them through powerful ventilators. Clean berries then fall into empty boxes. Of course, sometimes small dry branches make it to the machine but they are thrown away in the early stages.
From the machine, full boxes are taken to the cold room, where they are chilled at +2C.
They are then taken by our partners at Mäntsälän Mehustamo for juice processing. We have done work together for many, many years. Cold pressed, ready-to-drink juice is sorted into valve bags and returned back to the farm.
At the farm the bags are then packaged inside cartons, which have been designed specifically for this juice.
And the juice is ready to be enjoyed!