This article was first written for and published by Koi Magazine in 2008
The autumn harvest is one of the most important dates in the Koi calender at Cuttlebrook Koi Farm as this is the day that we finally get to see how the Koi we have been growing in the mud ponds for the summer have progressed.
On 14th September 2008 we harvested both of our growing on ponds which hold our Nisai (Koi in their second year of life) and Sansai (Koi in their third year of life) with the help of a few friends who came to lend a hand and join in the anticipation and excitement of the day. Amongst these friends were several members of the Koi Quest internet chat forum who had bought Koi from us in the Spring and who had left them with us for the summer to grow on in the mud pond for the season. Growing Koi on which people have already bought and paid for isn’t something that we have done before and it added an extra air of anticipation to the day, knowing that people had placed their trust in us to look after their Koi for the summer and also to hopefully improve them – this was the moment of truth!
Both growing on ponds are 20 metres wide and 80 metres long and we harvest them by dragging a long net from one end of the other. This task is one which many hands make light work of and there was no shortage of willing helpers on the day. We started in the morning with No3 pond which held about 500 Nisai that had been bred the previous year and then grown on in our heated indoor growing on facility over the winter before being placed in the pond for the summer.
Pulling in the net
The net was dragged through the pond and then gathered in to form a bag which held the Koi. Everybody watched with interest as just under 200 Koi were removed from the pond and placed into the transport tank. Myles Sharman had the responsibility of lifting each Koi from the tub of fresh clean water and into the transport tank and even he had to pause to admire some of the Koi as the emerged.
Koi coming out
Koi being moved to transport tank
The Koi in the transport tank were transferred to an indoor tank and then the net was dragged through the pond again then more were transferred to the indoor tanks.