Berry Harvesting: Bronzewing Farm® Tasmanian Mountain Pepperberries are hand-harvested from
the farm between April and June every year.
Hand-harvesting is necessary because (a) the berries don't seem to want to drop off
naturally (in our greenhouses we can have last season's berries still on the plant when the current season's berries are developing),
and (b) it is important not to damage the new buds/growth which develop in the centre of the whorl of berries. This growth habit
is called monopodial branching (see the lower-right photograph). Hand-harvesting is why Tasmanian Mountain Pepper is so expensive
- there are around 4,000 berries in 1 kg of Mountain Pepper Berries (and this only gives you around 250 g of dried Mountain Pepper...). See our harvesting video here.
The fresh pepperberries are graded to remove twigs and leaves but we typically leave the berry
stems on those fruits where they haven't fallen off during harvest. We do this, because they add an 'authentic' look to our
"Devil" peppercorns. Also the stems are just as 'hot' as the berries.
New shoots emerge from the centre of the whorl of berries - meaning you have to be careful not to damage buds during harvest.