There are two main types of berries harvested for market - those picked for fresh market and those mechanically picked for processing.
There are different qualities and distinctions to hand picked berries. This distinction depends almost entirely on the person who does the picking. There is a good way of hand picking and a bad way of hand picking. Gaining the skill to go from a bad to a good picker does not take too long with "hands on experience" :)
Mechanical picking can be done in a number of ways but the method most commonly used is hand raking.
A hand rake looks like an oval bowl with metal prongs on one side, and a handle on the other. You only have to rake the bush with the prongs and the blueberries fall into the bowl. At this point, the berries have most likely been damaged slightly. This is why they are almost exclusively used for processing. Hand picking Wild Blueberries can be done between July 1st and October 30th, yet mechanical picking can only be done when the crop is completely ripe. Otherwise, too many green berries are harvested.
If It's Not From The Forest, It's Not Wild!
Mike Poulin,James Bay Wild Frui