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Cranberry Harvest ’09

I have worked here in Cranberry Country for 10 years and this is the first year I’ve actually gotten to photograph a cranberry harvest in progress.  It didn’t happen by accident, either.  My co-worker, Donna, gave me a heads up so on the way home from work yesterday Dale and I took the scenic route.  We were not disappointed.

cranberry bog wide shot

These bogs are wet harvested, which basically means that they flood the bog with water.

cranberry combine machines

Use these machines to free the cranberries from the vines.

cranberry harvest bog edge

And then gather up the cranberries with these floating rubber thingies.

cranberries in the water

Those are technical cranberry harvest terms, in case you were wondering.

cranberry harvest wide shot

Okay, I may not know much about how it actually works but I do know that it makes for excellent photo opportunities.  And I also know that cranberries that are wet harvested are used for juice and sauce.

cranberries floating

Do you know what that means?  It means that you’ll think about this post the next time you buy a bottle of cranberry juice!

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Those are some awesome photos! I’m also excited that this means there’ll be fresh berries at the market any day now so I can make pumpkin bread with walnuts and cranberries. Yay!

  2. I have seen cranberry harvesting before and thought it was pretty cool. Did you know that white cranberries are just under ripe cranberries?

  3. very cool, I’d always wondered how it was done. The only reason I knew they grew in water was because of the ocean spray commercial 🙂

  4. Cool! I loved seeing these photos of the harvest. That last photo is great with the red & green stripes and shot of blue. Can I get a 5×7?

  5. That is quite a process and your photos are so informative. For some reason I think of you when I think of cranberries. Must be because of where you live.

  6. Thanks for the cranberry lesson. Such an interesting fruit. And so very pretty in whatever is served with them.

  7. Very interesting, and with such nice photos. Just last weekend the “When do the cranberries come?” discussion began. I think I read that those ‘plastic things’ are called ‘booms’. Whatever. Now, I’m going to have to add cranberry juice to the grocery list.

  8. I was having my morning craisins as I read you post! But they’re “dried” so they must not have been wet-harvested – right? Hmmmm…. or maybe along the lines of the white cranberries being underripe red ones, the dried ones are just very old?…

  9. I spent my summers in Wareham Carole and this was a part of every fall. Thanks for the memories…you should see the snakes in those bogs! 🙂 We would pick weeds for $2.00 and hour and then go to Lincoln Park for our big summer day out…Woo Hoo!

  10. Mmmmm cranberry juice, and cranberry sauce, and dried cranberries in just about anything. Suddenly I am very hungry and it’s nowhere near lunch time. Great pictures!

  11. Fall has definitely come to New England! Cranberries that you buy in a bag are ‘dry-harvested’ … which means that they are picked by hand. Back-breaking work, to be sure. I’ve seen both kinds of harvests, and both are fascinating 🙂 If anyone has time, Ocean Spray has quite the visitor center, definitely worth the visit.

  12. what an incredibly cool process – can you imagine being the person(s) who thought of doing that?!
    and great photos.
    I had no idea.

  13. I grew up in cranberry country (although not in MA, but in N. Wisconsin). Ingenious how they harvest, isn’t it?

    There’s a fun children’s book called Cranberry Thanksgiving that is set in your area of Massachusetts.

  14. Love your pictures…I’ve seen it on TV, but I liked your terminology better ; ) ! And I absolutely loved your comment at Norma’s…couldn’t have said it better.

  15. I could see a skein of sock yarn named “cranberry harvest”, couldn’t you? Everything goes back to knitting!

  16. Now I would have loved to see that! You have such fun – and, yes, I will think about that when I drink my cranberry juice…

  17. I have always wanted to visit cranberry bogs… thanks for taking all of these photos, and explaining the process in technical terms:)

  18. I’m amazed at how many millions of tiny cranberries there must be to make up such large swaths of red!

  19. We love us some cranberries . We love the northwoods of Wisconsin for their cranberries too. Cranberry scones…….Fireman’s favorite! Cranberries dried, in salads. Cranberry spritzers!

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