Monday, October 12, 2009

Cranberry Marsh Tour Day 2

As I mentioned yesterday, cranberries do not grow in or under water. The reason for the myth is simply because all the pictures shown of cranberries are taken during harvest. During harvest normally dry ditches can be filled with upwards of 5 feet of water. Cranberries are generally hollow and very light weight making them easily floated. The cranberry beds are flooded which allows the cranberries to float up a bit making it easier to pluck them from the vines.

Here you can see a cranberry bed flooded ready for harvest. The berries are floating, yet still attached to the vines by 1 inch stems. This year with the extreme cold, Warren has all the beds flooded. Cranberries can take temperatures down to around 29 or 30 in the fall when they are coloring up, but anything colder than that requires sprinkling.
At night when the temp drops to freezing or slightly below, Warren starts up the sprinklers. The constant irrigation protects the cranberries from freezing. Sometimes though, the temp drops so low that the entire bed is covered in ice. This picture doesn't show it very well, but the vines are iced in. The ice actually provides insulation for the cranberries. This was Saturday morning. The overnight temps were in the upper teens and strong winds were developing so Warren decided to start flooding, a process that can take up to 48 hours, and run the sprinklers. A little added protection to ensure every last berry makes it to the truck. In the foreground is the triangle bed raked so you can see all the cranberries floating. Those berries will float until Tuesday.So water does play a prominent role in harvesting cranberries, but remember they don't grow in water.
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1 comment:

  1. This is quite the informative series of posts!


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