It called harvest to the act of collecting the fruits provided by the earth , usually obtained from crops . The term also refers to the season in which said harvesting is carried out, the products that are collected and the set of fruits .
For example: “Next week the harvest will begin throughout the valley” , “At harvest time there are many job opportunities in this area” , “The tomato harvest was very good thanks to the excellent weather conditions of the last months” .
The idea of harvest refers to rural work that involves the collection of fruits, vegetables, seeds or other products that are used by man as food or otherwise. The harvest, which can be done manually or with the help of machinery, is carried out when these products have reached maturity.
Harvesting usually includes other tasks besides harvesting, such as cleaning the fruits, sorting them, and storing or packaging them so that they can be sent to the places of sale.
Typically, the owners of the fields analyze what is the best time of the year to plant and what is the favorable period to harvest, using the characteristics of the climate to optimize productivity and quality. In any case, there are unpredictable factors (such as floods, droughts, frosts, etc.) that can affect crops.
People who live in rural areas or have a large garden often harvest fruits and vegetables for their own consumption, something that saves them money while allowing them to get closer to nature in a way that is increasingly lost. in modern societies. As tempting as it may seem to have a garden at home, the process is slow and often hopeless, depending on the characteristics of the land and the climate .
The attitude that should reign in anyone who wants to embark on this activity is patience. This is especially necessary if we are interested in fruit trees: while the orchard usually gives results in a few months, from the moment we plant a tree until we can obtain the first satisfactory harvest it can take several years.
In any case, each species has its own deadlines, so it is also important to inform yourself before starting to draw up a plan for the future. For example, berry bushes and fig trees typically produce a harvest from two to three years, long before most others, which can take more than five. Throughout the development stage it is recommended to remove the flowers, so that the plant uses all its energy in growth.
Harvest, finally, is what a person achieves as a result of his actions or destiny: “The tennis player’s trophy harvest does not stop: he has already won three tournaments so far this year” , “For many years I studied and I worked incessantly, now is the time to enjoy the harvest ” .
Just as it happens in the field of agriculture, it is said that “one reaps what one sows”, an expression that refers to the importance of acting with good intentions, based on the principles of morality and honesty, since each step that we give for this life has an impact according to the quality of our actions. This does not mean that we should be fair just for the sake of being treated fairly, since in this way our attitude would not be one of legitimate altruism and respect for our neighbor, but of disguised selfishness.
In agriculture, the harvest is based on the collection of fruits, seeds or vegetables from the fields at the time of year when they are ripe. This term biblically speaks of gathering the harvest of the early and late rains, generally and approximately one month after sowing, also applying to a current interpretation, to dinner invitations. The harvest marks the end of the growth of a season or the end of the cycle of a particular fruit. The term harvesting, in its general use, also includes the actions subsequent to the harvesting of the fruit itself, such as cleaning, sorting and packing the harvest, until its storage and its shipment to the wholesale market or to the consumer.
The timing of planting and harvesting is a critical decision, depending on the balance between possible atmospheric conditions and the degree of maturity of the harvest. Weather conditions such as frost or hot and cold off-season periods can affect production and quality. For example, earlier harvesting can avoid damaging conditions during these periods, but results in a production that is poorer in quantity and quality. Deferring it could result in more quantity and quality, but would make exposure to undesirable weather conditions more likely. In general, hitting the ideal harvest date has its share of gambling.
On smaller farms where mechanization is minimal, harvesting is the most intense manual labor during the harvest season. On large and mechanized farms it is at this time that the heaviest and most sophisticated machinery such as the combine is used.
Preparation of the ground
The first operation to be carried out to ensure that a crop can achieve the best performance is to provide the plants with soil in the best conditions. The objective is to prepare a bed with adequate nutrients and with conditions that allow seed germination and the establishment of the crop for later development. This has been done using traditionally aggressive techniques, such as turning, stubble burning, etc. These, in addition to not being sustainable in the long term, require labor, especially in contexts with low mechanization, becoming a burden for small farmers who have to prepare the ground with basic tools and manually.
FAO promotes alternative forms of land preparation, which seek to reduce the need for labor and the heaviness of work while promoting the sustainability of land preparation. With sustainability in mind, concepts such as reduced tillage and the use of appropriate tools and equipment can contribute to this common goal.
Ground preparation and weeding can be made less cumbersome and less labor-intensive through the use of improved hoes, row planting, the use of subsoilers, harrows, and animal-powered seeders. Single axle tractors can be used with adapted equipment that can be used if the infrastructure and capacities of the farmer are adequate to the context in which socio-economic conditions allow it. Other tasks related to maintaining ground cover can be done using humidifiers and sprayers that greatly limit the task of weeding if used in a minimal or reduced tillage context such as with terraces or conservation agriculture.