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Here, I share practical insights on making (and saving!) money. With a knack for budgeting and a passion for financial freedom, I've picked up lots of tips & tricks along the way. And I can't wait to share them with you here!
With picking season right around the corner and a ‘bunch’ (sorry!) of fruits ready for the picking have you thought about summer fruit picking jobs?
Summer Fruit Picking Jobs In The UK
Fruit and veg are vital parts of British culture; we grow fresh on the island to feed families with healthy, organic and local produce.
We love everything from pears to berries and anything that’s in-between. But the only way to keep the shelves stocked is by having local fruit picking pros in the field doing what they do best.
And this could be you!
Summer fruit picking jobs will be sprouting up left, right and centre in the coming months as certain foods ripen. The jobs are temporary, fun, active, healthy, pay well and delicious (if you’re cheeky on the job).
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What Are Summer Fruit Picking Jobs?
Summer picking jobs are the just the roles for those wanting something seasonal, something temporary and something good for the local economy.
Because it’s not just you who’ll benefit from the job; it’s the farmers, the fruit, the ecosystem, the supermarkets and – of course – the people who get to eat the delicious locally-sourced organic fruits.
Summer fruit picking jobs are temporary placements in fields of ripe fruits (and often vegetables) where you get to hand-pick the foods that go to British supermarkets.
Why Are Local Fruit Picking Roles Needed?
With everything going on in the UK, *cough* Brexit, *cough* Covid, *cough* probably something else as well, farmers are in need of pickers to help get their produce from farm to shop.
In fact, in 2021, British farmers and orchard owners were offering approximately 500,000 fruit farm jobs to Brits across the country.
The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) even said there was a point of crisis with empty shelves looming in supermarkets across the country.
Now, farmers don’t want this to happen again and will pay to ensure local fruit picking jobs are worthwhile.
When Are Fruit Farm Jobs Available?
Local fruit picking roles are technically available all year round, but it’s really the summer months that need the most hands-on-crops to bring the nations five-a-day to the shops.
This is because, while we’ve got fruit picking on our minds, farmers use their fields for an array of crops from leaves, greens and herbs to fruits and vegetables. All of which ripen for harvest at different times of the year because of their growing conditions.
You’ll often be picking vegetables in the late-winter and early-spring, leaves in the late-spring and early-summer, fruits in the late-summer and early-autumn and herbs in the late-autumn and early-winter.
Here’s a month-by-month break-down of which fresh pickings ripen and when throughout the year in British soil:
January: Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Kale, Swede, Leeks and Parsnips.
February: Cauliflower, Artichokes, Chicory, Chives and Endives.
March: Chard, Rhubarb, Lettuce, Spring Onions and Sprouting Broccoli.
April: Asparagus, Rocket, Swiss Chard and Spinach.
May: Garlic, Oriental Leaves, Radishes and Turnips.
June: Broad Beans, Strawberries, Carrots, Beetroot, Cherries, Peas, Potatoes, Fennel, Onions and Gooseberries.
July: Apricots, Aubergines, Chillies, Peppers, Courgettes, Cucumbers, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, French Beans, Peaches, Runner Beans, Shallots and Tomatoes.
August: Apples, Pears, Marrows, Melons, Plums, Raspberries, White currants, Figs, Squash and Sweetcorn.
September: Elderberries, Pumpkins, Bramble, Watermelon, Collards and Zucchini.
October: Redcurrants, Mint, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash, Cranberries, Grapes and Dates
November: Cress, Pok-Choi, Mustard, Rosemary, Bay, Red Cabbage and Sage
December: Jerusalem Artichokes, Kohl Rabi, Oranges, Coriander, Limes, Lemons and Watercress
What Experience is Needed for Fruit and Veg Picking?
While experience will always be welcome for farmers there really isn’t any needed for summer fruit picking jobs. All fruit farm roles will offer on-site training to help you pick to perfection and ensure that there is little food waste.
In fact, if you have any courses in horticulture (the art of cultivating foods and plants) you’ll be fast-tracked right onto the farm.
When it comes to the training, you can expect your job in local fruit picking to walk you through the ins-and-outs of the day.
This means when the job starts, when it finishes, which sections of the fields are yours, how to handle the harvest, what the processes are and how to identify the best of the best.
However, when you’re applying for these kinds of jobs, you’ll need to make sure you’re meeting the minimum requirements.
These requirements include being over the age of 18, being fit and healthy, having a good team mentality, being able to work on your feet for long periods, having good dexterity, having a careful eye and paying close attention to detail.
How Is Fruit and Veg Picking Done?
As mentioned, when you apply for a job and get it, you’ll be taken through every step of the orchard to make sure you’re a good picker.
But for a brief peek into the fruit farm jobs you could get it’s good to know what to expect. So, here are a few fruit-picking tips:
- Harvest on a dry day because moist fruits will spoil very easily
- Choose a small punnet for smaller and softer fruits
- Choose a large bag for larger and more dense fruits
- Hold fruits like apples in the palm, push up and twist to gently remove
- Hold fruits like apricots on the side and push the stem with your thumb
- Use scissors to cut the stems of fruits like cherries and grapes
- For delicate fruits like berries, give the tree or bush a good shake
Where Can I Find Fruit Picking Near Me?
Summer fruit picking jobs can be found all over. From word-of-mouth and recommendations to looking at online job boards or signing gup to your local recruitment agency. They’re always going and it’s not likely you’ll be able to look around without at least one role coming your way, especially in high season (summer).
Whether you’re looking for something full-time or even something to take up a couple of spare hours in the week to bolster the pockets, take a look at these job sites:
- Berry World
- British Summer Fruits
- Gov.uk Jobs
- Hall Hunter Farms
- Hops seasonal work
- Hugh Lowe Farms
- Pick for Britain
- Summer Field Work
- The Royal Horticultural society
- Total Jobs
- Victoria Farm
Who Offers Jobs for Fruit Picking in England?
Almost all farmers will hire fruit pickers and packers to help harvest their farms and orchards in the short periods where the weather will permit. They’re very busy people and can’t handle their hundreds of acres and hectares during the only week in the year the UK gets some good weather.
If you’re super lucky and a fan of car shows, you might even be able to get a temporary fruit picking role over the summer on Jeremy Clarkson’s farm!
How Much Do Summer Fruit Picking Jobs Pay?
Local fruit picking pays better than you might think. Often, the working day will start at the crack of dawn and then it’s a race with the weather to make sure everything’s picked before time runs out. So, it can be laborious and tiresome.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that the salary of fruit farm jobs will vary from farm-to-farm. But, typically, you’ll find these types of jobs will pay by the hour at a rate of £9-£11. Plus, there’s often bonuses such as overtime pay and productivity pay so you could even see £14 per hour if you’re lucky.
That said, no matter where you’re picking and packing or for how long, you’ll find all fruit farming jobs will pay above the national minimum wage.
And that concludes everything we know and can share about the fantastic summer fruit picking jobs you could be testing your talents at for some extra pocket money in 2022.
From classics like apples and pears to some of the tangier niche menu items like chard and chicory. There’s always something at some point in the year you could be getting your hands on to help farmers get their organic produce from the field and into the shops.