Cranberries grow on low lying vines in beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay.
Commercial fields use a system of wetlands, uplands, ditches, flumes, ponds and other water bodies that provide a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life.
The majority of cranberries are harvested between September and November, and occurs in one of two ways.
By far the most common is wet or water harvest. The beds are flooded and the fruit is “beaten” off the vine using a specialized harvester.
The floating fruit is then corralled and loaded onto trucks for delivery to a receiving station. Wet harvested fruit is used for processed cranberry products like juice and sauce.
Dry harvested fruit is “combed” from the vines using a mechanized picking machine. No water is involved during this process.
The fruit is loaded into bins and shipped to receiving stations where it is cleaned and packaged as fresh fruit.
The final stage, of course, is preparing and eating these nutritious and tasty natural gems!