Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
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The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cranberries, Sandhill Cranes, and SAID Bank


We live in cranberry country. Our county produces more cranberries than any other county in Wisconsin, Wisconsin produces more cranberries than any other state, and the US produces more cranberries than any other country.

Cranberry harvest is going on right now.

It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny October day yesterday, so I took Fisherhubby out into the "wilds" of Cranmoor to show him the cranberry harvest live and in person.

One cranberry "farm" is called a marsh - - - "the cranberry marsh."

A cranberry marsh consists of MANY rectangular, approximately football field sized depressed areas called bogs. The cranberry vines grow down in these bogs.

During the growing season, the cranberry plants are NOT under water. However, water is sprayed onto the plants to keep them from freezing whenever there is a frost warning.

About a month ago there was a WHITE cranberry harvest. White cranberries are not quite ripe and are harvested to make white cranberry juice. They are not called "green" cranberries (though they are) but rather "white."

When the berries are ripe and red, it is time for the full harvest.

In order to harvest a bog, it is first completely flooded with water. The cranberries and plants are then several inches below water.

Next a large tractor with a paddle wheel on the front, called a beater, goes through the bog agitating the water's surface. The motion of the water is enough to "pop" the berries off of their vines and they float to the surface.

The vines themselves are NOT beaten - - - they will survive to produce berries season after season.

Once the cranberries have floated to the surface of the water, the entire bog looks bright red.

Next the berries are corralled into one end of the bog with floating "booms." Then the cranberry "elevator" can lift the berries from the bog and deposit them into a waiting truck. (You can see the elevator dropping berries into the red truck in the above picture.)

This harvest process is repeated in each bog until all the cranberries have been picked.

At this point in the harvest, you very well may see harvesters in hip waders walking among the berries just like in the Ocean Spray commercials.

I'm NOT saying they go around doing ninja kicks or shaking up cans of sparkling cranberry juice, mind you. I'm just saying you do see them wading in amongst the cranberries from time to time.

This National Geographic cranberry harvest video was made out at Cranmoor, Wisconsin - - - which is just where I was yesterday observing harvest. I don't think I was at this EXACT marsh - - - we have LOTS of marshes out Cranmoor way.

Near the end of the video you will see some VERY large birds take off and fly away. Those are Sandhill Cranes - - - one "signature" Wisconsin wildlife species.

In the way of other important news today - the unnamed bank which had hithertofore not given me credit for paying off our son's student loan has finally made things right.

Of course, Fisherhubby and I had to jump through hoops, blow whistles, and ring bells to get it to happen.

(Read: spend copious time on the phone with them over the course of multiple calls, fight our way through an impossible phone menu TRYING to get to a real live English speaking person, pay the bill a SECOND time so they would stop threatening to send us to prison for life [I exaggerate, just a little about this one], and fax a copy of the CANCELLED check to PROVE they did receive our money AND had deposited it even BEFORE the due date.)

But fair's fair - - - I COMPLAINED to all of you while I was doing battle with SAID bank, so it's only right that I tell you we received a check from them in the exact amount of the SECOND payment I sent to stop the collector phone calls.

Oh - - - and there was a letter of apology too.

Many of you said I should never deal with SAID bank again - - - but unfortunately, I have MORE children with school loans and SAID bank is BIG into school loans so I may HAVE to.

Next time, SAID bank - - - please just LISTEN to me and HELP me in the FIRST place.



Charlotte said...

That was very interesting! I always thought cranberries grew in water. Thanks for explaining. I have to have my cranberry juice each morning instead of orange juice.

jules said...

I've never actually seen the berries harvested. The only place I've ever seen the bogs is when we go to Warrens for the Cranberry Festival. I've never taken the tours there but they seem quite interesting.

We have so many of those darn cranes in the fields around our house. They sure are some noisy dudes.

Ann in the UP said...

Thanks for the cranberry information. Good to know! And I'm glad the mysterious un-named bank hs finally straightened out their goof-up!!

Did you get to talk to Peggy???

42N said...

Wow two epic stories in one post. I always wondered how the berries were grown and harvested. My inlaws went to the Cranberry festival in Warren a few weeks ago They loved it. Continued good luck with the aforementioned bank.

Anita Johnson said...

It's been too long since I stopped by your blog. I have always wanted to see the harvesting of cranberries...another thing to add to the bucket list!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Great post Keetha!
Oh those sandhill cranes are amazing to see!
Are you a happy Badger these days?

nancygrayce said...

I've never been to cranberry growing company. Interesting.....

I hate dealing with banks and doctor's offices who won't listen when you tell them you've paid.

JKW said...

My late fiance dealt with said bank and I vowed never to do it. When said bank had the gall to buy my mortgage company, I paid it off, immediately (condo, not that much, but enough I had to borrow). I don't want any of my information with said bank, lol. Thanks for visiting my blog. Love the cranberry company. Blessings, Janet

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Oh hon, we've had problems with 'said bank' too!!!

Thanks for the trip through the cranberry fields and marshes. We harvest many crops here on our Missouri Ponderosa but I've never had the pleasure of seein' cranberries harvested. So interesting!!!

God bless and have a wonderful weekend sweetie!!! :o)

Paula@SweetPea said...

I didn't know that Wisconsin produced cranberries! I'd love to see them growing and being harvested.

Claudya Martinez said...

I'm glad SAID bank got it together.

Paulette said...

I had no idea how cranberries grew until just now! I thought they grew through the water or something (like water lilies, maybe?), because I'd heard of bogs and marshes, etc., and where I live, there's always water in those things. Cool! Thanks for the interesting tour!

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for the cranberry report!