Throughout my childhood, I was often at my grandparents house in Carver, Massachusetts. At their house, they had many acres of land that my sisters and I would always love to explore. We would ride the golf cart my grandfather owned around all day to find something new to discover. On top of all the land they had, there was also about seven cranberry bogs. Every year, up until I was around fourteen or fifteen, my entire family would help harvest the cranberries.
Cranberries are harvested through a process called flooding. Each of the bogs is entirely flooded with around 15-18 inches of water the night before they are set to be harvested. Once the day came, my family would use these devices called water reels to help separate the cranberry from their vines. Then, my grandfather would climb aboard this giant harvesting machine and drive around the bogs scooping up all the cranberries. I can remember being amazed at the entire process and not truly realizing how much work went into it until I saw it with my own eyes. I usually only watched my dad, grandfather, and uncle really do all the work to gather the cranberries, but it was something I definitely looked forward to every single year. After all the cranberries are collected, they are loaded into crates, then shipped to Ocean Spray, the company my grandfather sold his crops too.
This tradition was something that was always a long but fun day with my family. We would always end the day with a big dinner, and it was usually had a lot to do with cranberry flavored items. This is really the first memory I had to anything garden related really, but it was something that was kind of unique to me. Not a lot of people get to experience and see the actual process of this harvest, and it was always a great time.