Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

October 15, 2016

Cranberry Harvest Festival, Part Two

I didn't realize that the bog harvest was located a couple of miles from the rest of the festival, so we hopped on one of the schoolbuses that were bringing people to and from the bogs.




For those unfamiliar with the process, cranberries are grown on the ground on vines.  The bogs have irrigation trenches all around them, and when it's time to harvest, the bogs are flooded and the berries float to the top.  There is also a dry harvest where they drive a special machine up and down the islands that rake the berries into the back.  I like the wet harvest because the berries look so beautiful floating on the top like bright red jewels.


We waited in line to go up on the bridge and see the wet harvest from above.

There were also wagon rides but I didn't stay long enough to take one.

Here's a large truck full of the ones sucked out of the bog before we got there.

All the cranberries are floating in the flooded bog.  

They get sucked up into a machine with sprayers and conveyor belt that dumps them into the trucks.





There were helicopter rides but I didn't take one.  

Every now and then a little froggie gets sucked into the trucks too but they are always found and released.





We got there a little late for the whole owl show and only got to see two of them.  

This one is from Europe.  Look at the size of her feet!  They are huge!

Beautiful bird.

We wandered around a bit seeing the sites in and around the bogs.

You could even put on some hip waders and go into the water.  I didn't.


But I did take pics of people who did.

I had to cut my visit short cause I was going to visit a dear friend who was in a nearby hospital, but Sheila & Joe stayed for about 90 minutes longer than I did.  Before I left, I bought 5 lbs of fresh cranberries to split with my mother in law.  Then I had a terrible panic when I could not find my car in the parking lot.  I was really starting to freak out when this guy on a golf cart showed up and drove me up and down the rows while I pressed my alarm button till we found my car.  If he hadn't helped me, I never in a million years would've found it.  

All in all, there were a lot of fun things to do and see, but it was unbelievably crowded and I don't do well in crowds and waiting in lines.  After I saw the pouring down rain the next day, I realized that's probably why Saturday was so packed.  I look forward to next year when I can stay longer!

16 comments:

  1. Just shows you JoJo, I thought they grew in the ponds, didn't realise they flooded them to pick the berries. We have a cranberry festival up north of here, we went but it was raining and very crowded so we didn't stop. Love your pix and especially the owls. Sinlaw loves owls, paints them a lot and even owned one for several years.

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    1. I love owls too. They're so cute. They didn't have a snowy though. The next owl show that day was going to be too late in the afternoon and I'd had to leave. Wisconsin is actually the state that produces the most cranberries in the USA. Followed by Mass, NJ and Washington State. The bogs in WA are out near the southwestern coast.

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  2. I knew NOTHING about harvesting cranberries JoJo. That's so cool, altho I have to say, I'm a little skeptical about them finding aaallll of the frogs. Gross. - Again. This looks like my kinda' place. I know I would absolutely love it there...

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    1. LOL The workers said that they usually jump out or the workers remove them. I hope that is true. hahaha

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  3. That's really interesting! Thank you for the tour. I didn't know about the flooding, but it does make sense - less harm to the berries. (I guess I thought they grew in the water)

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    1. My husband used to work on the bogs when he was a teen and said that the dry harvest is much easier and you get more berries.

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  4. I remember my dad doing the cranberry harvest when I was a kid - along the Oregon coast. I always loved to see him out there, and I do a recipe every fall for cranberry chutney that is delicious! I can't count the number of times I could not find my car in the parking lot! really no fun

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    1. OMG I freaked out. I was so close to tears and the panic was rising. Thank god that guy in the golf cart showed up. I was seriously ready to have a melt down. lol I make cranberry bread around the holidays and I made a cranberry cake last year that was awesome! My MIL was delighted with the huge bag I brought to her. She's going to make cranberry sauce.

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  5. Excellent post. Love the sea of red. Cranberries are yummy. Way different from Texas. I would love to go to this festival. Thanks for posting. Happy Fall!

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    1. Thank you! Next time you see the Ocean Spray ad or their products, you can say that you've seen pictures of their berries being harvested!

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  6. The second owl looks like a European long-eared owl. Magnificent creatures.

    I wish I could say I liked cranberries...

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    1. Great eye Val. That is a European owl!!!!!! Raw cranberries are pretty bad...way too tart, but I like them in baked goods.

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  7. How cool!! I would love to walk around some flooded cranberries!

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    1. If I hadn't been on such a time crunch that day I would've grabbed some hip waders and done it. I had no idea there was going to be THAT much to do at the festival.

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  8. Owls are cute – my husband just got me a T-shirt that has a different owl on it for different kinds of coffee--decaf, espresso, etc.

    In your photos, I really like that ticket lady's hat.

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    1. I love owls too. They are so adorable. I've seen that coffee owls one before! Love it!

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