Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bendable Tree project in the Crowdfunding platforms

From the beginning we tried the main crowdfunding sites, trying to collect funding for the new company that will research and manufacture the wooden presses that modify trees.

These relatively new sites publish projects from entrepreneurs and offer supporters several ways to help. Some of them are allowed to offer equity in the new companies, others simply receive donations in exchange for non-monetary rewards. The project owner decides which rewards will be offered to the supporters that donate from a small amount (maybe $10) to larger sums.

The more active crowdfunding platform is currenly, but it is restricted to US citizens. I am searching for a US-based partner that will help me to appear in KickStarter and start collecting some money.

A site oriented to science and scientists is I am Scientist . One of its features is that helps publish an academic profile of the project author, including all scientific publications. My project is currently being reviewed there.

We the trees is another crowdfunding site that is oriented to permaculture. It looks like a good fit for the Bendable Tree Project. I submitted the project and they are evaluating it. is also a crowdfunding site in Spanish. I am submitting to it because I might find sympathy among fellow Latin Americans or Spaniards.

Trying to be creative about rewards, I offered Dedicated Restricted Trees, with a plate with donor name. The tree is photographed and the photo is sent to the donor and published in the web. I also offered to donate fruit (collected with my method) to the poor neighbourhoods here in Buenos Aires or elsewhere.

So, if you want to donate, please visit some of the sites above.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mechanical tree shakers and how to protect the fruit from bruising

This one is "Cherry Harvest", showing 2 movile shakers with giant arms to receive the fruit. Each arm has a rectangular plastic fabric surface that are located under the branches and can move to spill the collected fruit on a recipient:

This olive shaker (Savisal, from Portugal) deploys an umbrella-like device below the tree before shaking:

In here you see a net mounted on a mobile structure intended for olives or maybe other fruits: . It is independent from the tree shaker.

Finally, my preferred cheap solution: bubble wrap fabric.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A permanent service to fruit producers using the Restriction Press

Advisory Service for fruit tree growers: a profitable activity for the new company

For Licensers of the Restriction Press Technology: Design - Manufacturing - Analysis - Communication with buyers

For Final Users: Field Support - Press Use - Press Change - Shaking Technique 

Applying restriction-growth devices to a tree is not an all-or-nothing process. The press must accompany the growth, and provide protection at al times against excessive movement that could lead to breakage of the tree. Locations that can be affected by hurricanes or tornados need extra care on the tree-flexibility issue.

The presses have different sizes, according to the age of the tree that receives them. The smaller press is usually a 2-bolt press, as seen in the Diagrams page. It is replaced by a Small 4-bolt press after a year or two, and by a larger one after another couple of years.

Also, the presses need bolt-loosening once in a while. As the trunk grows, the narrowing forced by the bolted press can stay to thin. Thus, a little loosening will add more room to the narrowed part of the tree.

Shaking a normal tree is a delicate procedure. Too little force is ineffective, and too much can damage the tree. For that reason, mechanical tree shakers should be adjusted to each tree: size, strength, species, fruit ripeness and other factores. Some researchers are even developing software that should optimize the vibration force, amplitude and frequency.

Trees modified with our Restriction Presses are much easier to shake, because a little force obtains an ample movement. But when modified trees grow over certain measures (width, height, fruit load weight, size of narrowing/enlargement) the manual shaking is no longer an option, and a mechanical tree shaker is needed. When and how to implement mechanical shaking is also included into our advisory expertise.

Some fruit growers use abscision chemicals to cause the dehiscence of the fruit at the time of shaking. If this process is needed, we can advice on how to use them and on which trees.

Our laboratories and experimental fields will permanently grow new trees and carry out yield and breakage tests on the existing trees, under different presses and conditions. That information will be also sent to our clients as part of the service.

We can provide the calculation-based guidance to tree growers as a service to those who purchase the presses or license the technology from us.

The consulting business is an addition to the core ones: selling of presses, selling of modified young trees, technology licensing.