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.