Monday, November 8, 2010


Side-wheel Harvester

Hand Picker

You learn something new everyday if you pay attention and hate commercials.  We were watching football last night and because I refuse to watch commercials I went "grazing" through the channels and found Martha Stewart, my favorite felon,  doing a Thanksgiving special and she was going to harvest cranberries.
She went to a farm and was given an old fashioned cranberry picker that you swing through the plants, this is known as dry harvesting and even with a more modern push picker it's a very labor intensive way to pick and is only used for fresh cranberries--about 5-10 % of the national crop.
The rest of the cranberries are wet picked.  They're not grown in water as I thought, but rather their beds are flooded with 6-8 inches of water in Autumn when  the berries are ripe and a side wheel harvester is driven through them and it separates the berries from the plants, they are then corralled and picked up.
I knew that cranberries were grown in New England, but I learned that they grow as far south as Tennessee and that they are an evergreen.  Also watched Martha make a wreath out of cranberries.
My daughter and I love cranberries and she always makes us fresh cranberry sauce at Christmas, Mac on the other hand thinks cranberries are pretty awful.  They're one of those things you either love or hate, but isn't it nice to know that hating commercials can be educational.
Corraling the Cranberries

1 comment:

  1. I surely had only a vague idea how cranberries are harvested, in spite of always hearing that they grow in "bogs." How amazing that they grow outside of New England. I prefer whole cranberry sauce--preferably home made. I cannot imagine making a cranberry wreath--leave it to Martha!


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