Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cranberry Marsh Tour Day 3

Sunday was a glorious day. COLD!!! yet just awesome. The sky was incredibly blue and the clouds so wispy and irregular. I bundled up Little J and we were off for a walk with camera in hand to capture more of harvest. >yesSo this is the first year using a new method of harvesting the cranberries. Since the late 70's our marsh has been harvested using the method called beating. For a picture of the beater tractor go here. But, alas, we aren't using that method anymore. This year Warren built what is called a harrow or rake. Instead of a spinning action used to beat the berries off the vine, the rake lifts and plucks the berries from the vine. It also eliminates the use of hydraulics and I was just informed that it uses spring tension instead. The actual time spent in each bed is also cut by.....a lot. We haven't done any official timing this year, but the beater speed was 1 mph. The rake can be driven, he's estimating, 4-5 mph.
The tractor is driven right into the cranberry bed and then driven around the perimeter, gradually moving towards the center. The tines on the rake are under water lifting and plucking the fruit from the vines. The rake on the front removes most of the berries, but just to be sure there is also a rake on the back as well.

As Warren drives through the bed the berries boil up and float until the next step. You get a really good look at the process of harvesting here. It's very easy to see where he's been and where he still needs to go.
And this is a completely picked bed. All the fruit is floating. Usually the wind pushes it all to one end and if luck enters the picture, the berries should be on the right end for the next step of elevating and cleaning the fruit.

1 comment:

  1. Lake Cranberry. Tough place to fish. Hey, come on over and join the fun. There's still time to play "Where's the Wreath?"



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