Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Beautiful Wisconsin Cranberry Harvest

This time in October reminds me of some of the fun activities that we used to do with our grandkids.  It was a time to do corn mazes, visits to pumpkin farms and apple orchards and of course watching the Wisconsin Cranberry harvest.

My husband walking the corn maze with Melissa in 2004.

Melissa, Sam and Dylan from 9 years ago.

I found these photos recently.  They were from 2004.  Our oldest granddaughter will be 13 in a couple weeks.  Dylan is now 12 and the baby in the middle is Sam and he is now 9.  They are growing up and not very interested in going to these places anymore.

I don't know about the kids but my husband and I really enjoyed visiting the Cranberry harvest.  We haven't gone since Dylan was a baby which was twelve years ago.  Recently a relative of mine posted some pictures of her families cranberry harvest.  Her family has been in the cranberry business for a long time.  I believe my grandpa Jepsen's brother Chris started this family business.  It reminded me of how beautiful this is to see, and I have to make a point of going next year.

I don't know a lot about the technical aspects of the harvest, I know that cranberries grow on bushes.  Then when they are ripe, the growers flood the bog.  The berries are harvested by beaters that beat the cranberries off the bush and the loose cranberries float to the top.  Cranberries float because they have a hollow area in the center where the seeds are and so they float upwards even before they are beaten off.  They are floated to the conveyer which lifts them into the truck. These pictures are from the Jepson Cranberry Marsh in City Point Wisconsin.  I want to thank Dorene for letting me use her pictures.

Jepson Cranberry Marsh
City Point, Wisconsin 

Cranberries floating on the water.

They gather them up toward a conveyer.

Up the conveyer and into a truck.

Thousands of berries falling into the truck.

Close up of the cranberries.

Once in the truck the berries are off to Ocean Spray.

Wisconsin is a leading producer of cranberries.  Over half of the United States production are from Wisconsin.  Central Wisconsin has many cranberry bogs.  Some of them give tours throughout the harvesting season.  If you have never seen this process, I would highly recommend it.

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