Created 20-Oct-08
Modified 3-Nov-08
23 photos
Carver, Massachusetts
The Heart of Cranberry Country

Wisconsin and Massachusetts account for two thirds of US commercial production of cranberries. They are considered a "superfruit"; high consumer product popularity, nutrient content and antioxidant qualities.

Most cranberries are wet harvested in that the beds are flooded with water. A harvester is driven through the submerged beds allowing the berries to float to the surface where they are corralled into a corner of the bed and conveyed or pumped from the bed. A few images at the end of this gallery show the bogs flooded for wet harvesting.

The harvesting method mostly depicted in this gallery is called dry-picked. 5-10% are harvested using the the dry method. This entails higher labor costs and lower yield, but dry-picked berries are less bruised and can be sold as fresh fruit instead of having to be immediately frozen or processed. Dry picking is accomplished by motorized, walk-behind harvesters which must be small enough to traverse beds without damaging the vines. The berries are deposited in large pallets then transferred to flat-bed trucks via helicopter.

These images are from the Flax Pond Cranberry Company, Carver, MA.part of Ocean Spray, an agricultural cooperative of growers of cranberries, and other farms in the area.