Another cranberry harvest is behind us. Bob can take a big breath and relax! He always stresses so during harvest.
One of our favorite things during harvest is having strangers stop by the bog to see what we’re doing. We love to share the process with them. Cranberry farming is so unique. We call our little talks Cranberry 101. I thought it would be fun to share it here, too.
Cranberries grow on vines in naturally occurring peat bogs. They are not under water except during harvest.
If you look carefully, you can see the berries growing in amongst the vines.
When its time for harvest, we flood the bogs with water from our irrigation ponds.
Once the water covers the vines, a machine called a beater is driven over the vines. It has a reel on the front with small steel bars. The reel rotates and knocks the berries off the vines. Cranberries are hollow in the middle, and they float to the surface of the water.
Once they’re floating, we use booms and paddles to bring them to one end of the field.
An elevator conveys the berries into totes on the trailers. There is also a stream of water washing away leaves and debris as the berries ride up the elevator.
Filling the totes.
There’s between 1000 and 1100 pounds of cranberries in each tote. That’s a lot of little red berries!
As members of the Ocean Spray Co-op, all we have to do is deliver our crop to the local receiving station, where they are cleaned and hauled off to freezer to await further processing. All of our fruit is used for processing (not sold fresh in little bags). Because we have good color, most of it will probably go for juice. So, think of us next time you have a glass!