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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 wet method with the submerged beds.
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 as well as a few other farms in the area.
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