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Cranberry Harvest

November 26th, 2008

Recently we got to help our friends (The Cranman & Mrs. Cranman) harvest their cranberry bog on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula. When I say we got to help, I mean that T-man (my hubby) worked - and I took photos. I’m no Mike Rowe, and I’m not really sure I can remember all the facts and info. Hope you can read at a third grade level… because that’s how it’s all in my head.

First the bogs are flooded.  This is known as a “Wet Harvest”.  The berries have already been paddled to loosen them off their vines (naughty crannies).   Not even sure if they’re on vines.   I’ll just call it a plant thingy.  Cranberries that have gone through a wet harvest will end up being processed into drinks and cranberry-stuff-in-cans.

Cranberry Harvest
The cranberries are corralled like an oil spill.  T-man’s 19 years in the Coast Guard has certainly come in handy.

Cranberry Harvest
The cranberries are pulled…

Cranberry Harvest
… and pushed.  T-man making sure none escape.

Cranberry Harvest
The cranberries are raked and guided to the big green Stairway to Cranny Heaven.

Cranberry Harvest
Cranny escalator.  Fourth Floor… Men’s Furnishings.

Cranberry Harvest
Wheeeeeeeeee.

Cranberry Harvest
I held out my hand in the Cranberry Rain (while Purple Rain played in my head).

Cranberry Harvest
T-man (left) and Cranman (right) get the cranberries settled into their crates.


The cranberries are now almost ready for the trip to Ocean Spray.

Cranberry Harvest
Next stop.  Ocean Spray.

Cranberry Harvest
I wasn’t allowed to take photos inside the warehouse (who knew cranberries were so James Bondish).  In a cranshell… they were weighed, poured into a giggly thing, traversed on this belt thing and into a wiggly thing, then poured into crates and loaded onto a semi-truck.  Destination unknown.  Or maybe I DO know, and if I told you - then I’d have to kill you.  To be on the safe side… destination unknown.

I was allowed to take photos in the “lab”.  T-man and I got a thorough tour of how the crans are sampled and tested.  Lots of big words chock-full of consonants that escape me now (curse you Mike Rowe for not being there).  Color is checked, acid levels, this and that levels.  Touched.  Rolled.  Squeezed.  Blended (mmm… Cosmos).
Cranberry Harvest
I was really tempted to mark a cranberry with a marsh-pen… “HZ was here”.  But I didn’t ONLY becuase I can’t write that small.  So if you open a can of Ocean Spray cranberry jelly, and you hear that slurp-woosh-goosh sound as you free the jellied log-o-cranberry from it’s tin prison… that’s just the sound of me wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving and may you be showered like a rain of cranberries with many blessings!  xoxo-m

Posted in How I Live |



35 Responses

  1. The fabulous Michelle allegedly said:

    Super interesting! Sounds almost like Dirty Jobs, minus some dirty. Thanks for sharing the photos!



  2. The fabulous Candace allegedly said:

    I’ll never look at another cranberry again without thinking of it’s long, arduous journey to my table! What a great “cranny primer” Monica! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Cheers!



  3. The fabulous Laura allegedly said:

    Your story was awesome. It’s even funnier if you accidentally read “cranny” as “tranny”.



  4. The fabulous Jackie allegedly said:

    First off, gotta love Mike Rowe. A friend wants to marry him. He is a real hoot and not bad to look at either. Anyway, I loved the tour of the cranberry harvesting and the opportunity to meet your hubby. Now when I eat any kind of cranberry product, I will envision the hard work of your husband and friend and have Purple Rain whirling in my brain. Happy Thanksgiving!! Have a terrific day.



  5. The fabulous Cheryl allegedly said:

    This is so COOOOOOOOL!!!! I had no idea how they were harvested. I’m going to go hug my bag of cranberries!!! Happy Thanksgiving!



  6. The fabulous Coralie Cederna Johnson allegedly said:

    Cranberry Heaven! What an interesting story of how it all goes together and what charming photos! Thanks for sharing this amazing journey for most of us who will never get to see the real thing! Awesome!



  7. The fabulous Pam allegedly said:

    Ahhh I’ll be thinking of you when I hear that cranny swoosh tomorrow. I heart me some jellied crannies my friend. I wish I was there. I remember back in Martha’s hey days she went to a cranny harvest in main so I had seen it, but never so up close, and never ever so personal.

    Now I need to go reread it Tranny style. That’s how I roll. xo



  8. The fabulous Kathleen allegedly said:

    Top secret cranberry stuff going on in there huh? Interesting stuff those crannys. Have a great Thanksgiving!



  9. The fabulous amy allegedly said:

    wow so neat to see that ..you did your own FOOD network blog.. Happy Thanksgiving.



  10. The fabulous yolanda allegedly said:

    Looks like fun. I love the long beach penisula.



  11. The fabulous MichelleB allegedly said:

    What a lovely bit of cranberry knowledge you’ve imparted to us. I’m glad you get to do these things and then share with us! ;)



  12. The fabulous jen duncan allegedly said:

    Wow! I learn something new every time I come here Monica! I make my own cranberry relish…overcooked it last night because I’m so used to doubling the recipe. Oh well. It’ll still taste good, and I’ll be thinking of their colorful life before they got here when I’m eating later today. :-)
    Have a good one!



  13. The fabulous Sally allegedly said:

    Thanks so much for the great trip to cranberry heaven! I’ll never eat another cranberry without thinking about your wonderful tutorial. Thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.



  14. The fabulous Karen allegedly said:

    Yo, Monica, you get an A+ for your report on cranberry harvesting. Show that to your ninth grade science teacher! The Cranman and I are so proud. Next year we should plan an Everybody-Come-to-the-Bog day, and all your readers from near and far could come see it in person. I’d even make pecan sticky buns!



  15. The fabulous Nancy allegedly said:

    Oh wow!! Thank you for sharing this. I’ve always wondered how they harvest cranberries and why they are always in water.



  16. The fabulous carolbrowne allegedly said:

    LOLS! I especially love your technical terms, wiggly and giggly. Very scientific!



  17. The fabulous Emilie allegedly said:

    thank you very much for that post, how fun and interesting !!! i had no idea !



  18. The fabulous Busy Little Quilter allegedly said:

    I’ll never look at another cranberry the same again, and wonder “Where did you come from and how did you get in that can?” because I’ll know; all because of you and your field trip to the cranberry factory. Thanks! :)

    I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!



  19. The fabulous kathleen allegedly said:

    I’m sitting near a big plate of cranberries right now, fortuitous!

    p.s. we’re still watching seinfeld’s non-stop! Thanks again!



  20. The fabulous Paula allegedly said:

    Secret Agent Berry! I’m pretty sure they make tiny little incognito sunglasses for those guys!
    Great field trip, great report. You know how I feel about cranberries!



  21. The fabulous Kristin J allegedly said:

    Wow, that was Crantastic! I am now picturing Mike Rowe covered in cranberry sauce . . . is that so wrong?!?!



  22. The fabulous Connie W allegedly said:

    The cranberries in my Thanksgiving salad may have been from right there! And how I love them, they make a great holiday dish.



  23. The fabulous jerusalem allegedly said:

    I adore cranberrys! what a great post!



  24. The fabulous nanette allegedly said:

    Just like the commercial. We strung cranberries on our tree this year. I’ve never done that before. It was fun and it is way cute.



  25. The fabulous Marise allegedly said:

    I had a love from the comments underneath the pictures :)
    Last few years our supermarket is full with cranberry things from Ocean Spray too. It’s something i buy a lot now, but can’t remember we ever had it before. It’s fun to see the cranberries be harvested on the other side of the world :)



  26. The fabulous Marise allegedly said:

    laugh, not love ;-)



  27. The fabulous Angelinaa allegedly said:

    Your photos are excellent! I wish I had been there. Do your friends let you keep some of their harvest? What a cool experience.

    I thought this was a great piece of journalistic work- who needs Mike Rowe anyway?*

    *Also- who the dickens is this guy?



  28. The fabulous anina allegedly said:

    Oh my, what fun! Your photos could be used in a magazine spread. They’re great!



  29. The fabulous Ellen Crimi-Trent allegedly said:

    ahh do I know cranberries since we live in cranberry country here in MA!! Actually in high school we used to hang and party at the bogs!



  30. The fabulous Sally allegedly said:

    Beautiful photos — and a darn fine description of harvest, too. I’m glad you didn’t have to jump in and push the berries around. I’m pleased to report that I’ve managed to avoid that wet job my entire life. I’ve never dug a razor clam, either!

    Sally



  31. The fabulous cindy allegedly said:

    Oh MY GOSH! That looks like so much fun! I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to work in a cranberry bog. I will think of you and your darling husband every time I take a sip of my Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice that I love so much. :) Thanks for giving me another chance to think of you my sweet friend. :)



  32. The fabulous Lemon Tree Tami allegedly said:

    What a delightful look behind the scenes at Ocean Spray and a cranberry harvest. My husband loves drinking cranberry juice so we often have many bottles of it in the cupboard waiting for their turn in the fridge. Personally I prefer cosmos. :-)



  33. The fabulous Nanna J allegedly said:

    I am late, late, late in wishing you and yours a Happy Thanks-Cranny Day! I heart cranberries, so this post was cranny-luscious to me! Thank you ever so muchly for the great photos and inspiring descriptions. I will think of you every time I look at a cranberry now. That’s a good thing, right? Of course it is!!!!



  34. The fabulous helen stubbings allegedly said:

    wow, I had no idea Cranberries grew in water or a bog… they are not common in Australia and have only noticed them in our supermarkets in the last few years. I certainly dont know of them growing here. I shall look now for the Ocean Spray brand to see if we get it..thanks for educating me.. Helen



  35. The fabulous Julie Isa allegedly said:

    Thank you for that! I think you should follow Mike Rowe along, take pictures, and then post them for all of us who are too busy to watch the show because we are blogging! Seriously though, I’ll show this to my kids, we love the commercial and here’s the sequel! Thanks!



Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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