The Saw Palmetto Harvesting Company utilizes many of the same picking crews that the Florida Citrus Industry employs. When the palmetto berries are ripening and ready for harvesting, late August, September and early October, the vegetable and citrus seasons are over and there are literally thousands of pickers looking for work. We are glad we can provide good paying jobs for these families, that would otherwise be unemployed.
The berries grow on a seed stalk that comes out from the bottom of the saw palmetto bush. When the berries first begin to ripen, they are yellowish/orange. The seed stalk is cut off the plant, the berries are removed by hand and placed in the pickers` bags. Later in the season, the berries will begin to turn black. At this point they are more likely to fall when handled vigorously. Shaking the seed stalk or attempting to cut it will cause most of the berries to fall to the ground. Innovative pickers come up with various picking utensils. One tool that seems to work well is an apparatus shaped like a fish dip-net. This is placed under the berry frond. When the berry frond is hit with a blunt object like a bat, the berries fall into the net. This is repeated until the pickers bags are full.