Bit of a long shot, but anyway I'm looking for a tool (which I can build) which can pick figs without tearing them. I have a plastic bottle fruit picker of the sort which is often demonstrated on YouTube, and it works great for apples and pears, but it kind of destroys figs. 8'(
I once saw some Chinese people picking figs with a tool which seemed to have a loop on it and they would pull the loop tight, and it would hang onto the fig as they pulled it off the tree, preventing it from tearing. I didn't get a good look at it, and although I can imagine a similar mechanism, if anyone has experience with something like that, I'd be glad to hear about it.
The other idea that I had is that I've seen some tools for sale online which are plastic cups with wide fingers facing up (hmm, I don't seem to be able to find an example at the moment). It seems like that could work -- lifting the fig up might be a better way to pull it off than pulling down. Has anyone tried a tool like that on figs?
Actually any experience with any tool for picking figs would be really interesting to me. I live in a place (Portland, Oregon) where figs often ripen better in the tops of the trees where there's more sun ... tantalizingly out of reach! Thanks for any words of wisdom.