1+2+3: Fruit Picker


Have you ever wanted fruit or vegetables that are out of reach? Ever found it difficult to fit that long, store-bought fruit plucker in your car? Well, here’s how you can make your own collapsible fruit picker in about 5 minutes.


Rope, about 12’–15′
Strong wire, about 3′
½” PVC pipes, 2′ long (6), and ½” PVC couplings (5) or collapsible tent pole

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 3.12.33 PM

1. Attach the wire loop.
If you’re using PVC pipe instead of a tent pole, drill a hole in the end of one pipe segment. Loop the wire through the hole and twist it around itself so it will hold. We made a big loop to pick big tropical fruits, but you can make a smaller loop to pick smaller fruits like apples and pears.

If you’re using a tent pole, you can wrap the wire around one end of the pole below the flange, so the wire won’t slip off the end.

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2. Connect the PVC segments together with the couplings.
Don’t glue them, just slip-fit them so you can disassemble the picker for easy storage and portability. They should fit together firmly.

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 3.13.15 PM

3. Tie the rope around the wire loop.
Because the pipe is just held together with a friction fit, you’ll need the rope to pull down the fruit.

Use It.

Go pick some fruit. Use the pole to raise the wire loop over the fruit you want, until the loop is above the fruit and around its stem. Then pull on the rope to yank the fruit off. Watch for falling fruit!

M22_1761 pulling on the jackfruit

We use our fruit picker in Hawaii to collect jackfruit (shown here); the edible seeds are the consistency of macadamia nuts, but the flesh surrounding them is what’s really good to eat. We also pick breadfruit (delicious when buried in the embers of a beach bonfire for 40 minutes), and coconuts.

These are all large fruits, and they’re often out of reach. We went to Hawaii for years without being able to harvest the breadfruit and coconuts we desperately wanted. The fruit picker helps us reach the tantalizing fruit.

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