The first successful water harvesting was in the 1960s; this is the predominant method of cranberry harvesting used today. While the berries are growing, budding, and flowering, the spiders make home in the vines, cleaning the vines of any insects. These bogs are impermeable--specifically created with layers of various growing mediums--so flooding them is not difficult. In fact, some cranberry bogs are more than 150 years old! He's a sixth generation cranberry farmer; his great-great-great grandfather, John Makepeace, was one of the three founding fathers of the Ocean Spray cooperative back in 1930. By the time I look up, it’s the size of a claustrophobic kiddie pool and they’re telling us to get out. Cranberries are also called mossberries and fenberries in England. Blowing sand, which causes growth and stimulation, may partly be why cranberry bogs are often found in sandy soils. Anyway, this cranberry bog discussion led to a story about the not-so-obvious spider consequences of working in a flooded bog full of swimming spiders. Before leaving the farm, we are invited into a barn where Sue and Ben excitedly start up an old-fashioned (though never-used) electronic separator. Contrary to what most of us believe, cranberries are not grown in water; they’re grown dry, on dense shrub-like vines. In the winter, January-February, some growers protect their vines from the cold (and drying out) by ice sanding the cranberries. Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox. Wet harvesting methods are typically used for fruit that are destined to be made into juices, sauces, or as ingredients in processed foods. Any remaining spiders, along with stems, rotten berries, and the smallest detritus, are sifted and sorted away up the street at the Ocean Spray receiving plant. Riding on the mechanical pickers; Photo courtesy of Ocean Spray. Behind me, Sue and another woman are elbows deep in a trough of cranberries fresh from the bog. Some cranberry diseases are also very limited in range, meaning that cranberry bogs in Wisconsin may experience a disease that is only problematic in that region. Fresh cranberries, the ones you buy in the produce aisle every fall, are harvested using the dry method. (Note:  using a little less water will make your sauce a bit thicker, and go a little light on the sugar until you taste the sauce, then adjust to your taste.  If you prefer to add a bit of orange peel to the mix, use a light hand as it can be a very dominant taste. Navigate the map to find a participating farm. Now that we’ve loosened the berries, it’s time to corral them together to be sucked up onto the loading truck — and that’s where the spiders come in. Cranberries get their name from their flowers, which are dark pink, and look like the bill of a crane. Thank you! "Not loving the spiders at all.”. For older students you can try cooking a recipe using cranberries and incorporate measurement skills and chemistry into the mix. At the end of the post I'll also provide you with some neat resources for teaching about cranberries in the classroom or on an interpretive hike. In 2017, I had the opportunity to help harvest cranberries at Dempze Cranberry Co. in Biron, where I experienced first-hand the work that goes into this important Wisconsin industry. I grab a couple off the belt and toss them into my mouth, savoring the bitter taste of the literal fruit of this harvest season’s love and labor. They are in the genus Vaccinium and sub-genus Oxycoccus. The National Institute of Health suggests that cranberry juice helps prevent UTIs though. Most cranberries are made into juice, jelly/compote, or sauce. An old wives tale is that that you should drink cranberry juice to cure a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney problem. There is no good correlation between cranberries and treating UTIs. Check out this paper by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or from the Cochrane Collaboration of not-for-profit researchers that also concluded that there is no evidence of this theory. I take a cue from Ben and pop a few of the crunchy, tart berries into my mouth. Though you’re likely to only see fresh cranberries in stores around the holidays, the Gilmore family matriarch, Sue Gilmore, clues us in to the fact that her family works year-round to cultivate their cranberry crop. before the berries run through a final power spray wash and bounce down into the truck bed. As with many food plants, the problems with cranberries run the gamut from easy to handle to nearly impossible to manage. Destinations That Should Be on Your Radar in 2021, How to Pick the Perfect Caribbean All-Inclusive Resort: What to Ask Yourself and the Hotel, Caribbean Hurricane Season: What You Need to Know Before Your Trip. Pick through them and remove any squishy, brown, or discolored berries. Specialties: Come in for breads , goodies & delicious sandwiches, salads & soups from open to close. The tweet about cranberries doesn’t mention the wolf spiders that sometimes crawl on workers when bogs are flooded: There are two methods for cranberry harvest- wet method and dry method. Weeds, insects, and pathogenic fungi thrive in the boggy, wetland conditions needed to cultivate cranberries. Ben pours a box of our dry-harvested berries into the top and they bounce down as the machine drops bad berries into a trough below. Even now, as I stand knee-deep in spiders, cranberries, and the harvesting season, it starts to hit me how much labor and love goes into this tiny little fruit. The farmers use a technique developed by Captain Henry Hall, who discovered that by leaving sand on the ice when the ice melts and the sand falls into the vines it stimulates the development of new roots and covers the base of the plants, protecting the root system. ", I shimmy through the bog, hoping that it helps deter the arachnids from anchoring onto me. However, it takes about 6 years before the young vines produce fruit. It’s my second time sliding into the waterproof waders and sloshing through the bright, bobbing berries. Fresh cranberries bounce when dropped. It looks like a slightly curved, large-toothed comb with a basket on the end, and I’m told to brush the comb through the vines with a slight rocking motion to separate the cranberries from the vines before dumping them into a wooden crate. Once the berries are plump and ripe for the picking, farmers flood the bog with water, just above the tops of the vines, and go in with large metal machines called “egg beaters” or “pickers” to loosen the berries from the vines. I firmly believe in knowing about what you eat, how it grows, and how it is produced. 1 producer of cranberries in the world. That night I’d practically torn away from the group upon arrival, jumping into a pair of waders before heading straight into the bog, which was cleverly set up like a bar and featured an impressive selection of cranberry booze. Kidney stones are mostly made from oxalate combined with calcium, so if you drink too much cranberry juice you may be putting yourself at risk of kidney stones. Drinking cranberry juice can increase the amount of oxalate in urine by as much as 43%, which is a lot! Stop in and try our popular cinnamon chip bread. But it was only designed to work from April 15 to the end of October. Common Cranberry Pests and Disease. You really gotta be chill with spiders if you’re gonna work a cranberry harvest.” posted by Pallas Athena at 8:11 AM on November 25, 2020 ... 31 Cranberry Ln Centerville, MA 02632 (Apr 2005 - Sep 2005) PO Box 648 Hyannis Port, MA 02647 ... 8 Harvest Dr Milford, NH 03055 (Jun 2010) 21310 Highway 11 … Cranberries are a type of evergreen shrub, which is perhaps why they have come to represent the holidays, with their red berries and evergreen trimmings. In the early spring, the cranberry runners begin to flower. The fruit is delivered to fresh fruit receiving The amount of water can range from six up to about 18 inches (45.7 cm). We share with you everything you need to know about growing cranberries, from the varieties, the tricks, pruning, pests to be aware of, harvesting and storing. Around 1694, German and Dutch colonists in New England used the word, cranberry, to represent the expanding flower, stem, calyx, and petals resembling the neck, head, and bill of a crane. It’s loud. I’m living out a dream I didn’t even realize I had -- what I can only imagine is akin to what it's like to star in an Ocean Spray commercial. Ben using the old-fashioned picker; Photo by Katherine Alex Beaven. Did you know that a cranberry is hollow inside? You'll never look at them the same way again. It's the best way to get the absolute freshest of berries. Well, that's all my nightmares come to life at once, so thanks for that. There are records of early ships using the berries to prevent scurvy. As you know from the article, cranberries float, so the good ones should float and the bad ones sink. In fact, as a fruit with such deep history — it’s one of our country’s few commercially grown native fruits, and it has appeared on our tables since the first Thanksgiving dinner (and was used by Native Americans long before that) — we don’t know much about it. The vines are long-lived and some are thought to be over 150 years old, which makes them ideal for cultivation because they do not need replanting. There are two conveyor belts that carry the remaining berries to our fingers for manual inspections, and then eventually drop the good berries into wooden crates resting on the floor. Cranberries can be dry harvested, with machines that comb the berries off the vines and into burlap bags. "Yeah, not much," I reply. However, the most iconic images of cranberry growing comes from the wet harvesting (which is about 95% of cranberries harvested). Sue Gilmore; Photo by Katherine Alex Beaven. A Brown Harvestman, photographed by Michael Suttkus near his home in Florida, is shown at the right. There are several opportunities for you to get in a pair of waders and splash around in a cranberry bog. In a large pot, stir sugar and cloves into water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add cranberries to water and stir gently until berries begin to pop.   Cut orange into small pieces and add to cranberries, continuing to stir gently till berries are all popped.  Add walnuts and mix thoroughly.   Transfer to a pretty bowl and let cool about an hour before transferring to refrigerator.  Serve with turkey dinner.  Accept compliments! The firmest fruits bounce on to be packaged for our dinner table (or juice), while the bruised or rotten berries don't bounce. The harvest begins a day before the farmer actually collects the berries as he pumps water into the cranberry fields. The red berries are tart and appropriately colored for the season with a bright red color. 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