Growing & Harvest
Cranberries are harvested in the fall - generally from mid-September through mid-November. Most cranberries are harvested when growers flood the fields and a small percentage are dry harvested using mechanical pickers.
Bogs and Marshes remain flooded with water that freezes and insulates the vines from frost.
Bogs and Marshes are drained and blossoms appear for bees to pollinate.
In mid-July the petals fall from the flowers, leaving tiny green nodes that eventually turn into cranberries.
Fall is the harvest season. The fields are flooded for the berries to be harvested.
Most cranberries are wet harvested when growers flood their bogs and use harvesting machines that loosen the cranberries from the vine. With small air pockets in their center, cranberries float to the water’s surface. Growers corral the berries, and then conveyors lift them from the bog onto trucks and then to processing plants.
While only a small percentage of cranberries are dry harvested, the process uses mechanical pickers, resembling lawn mowers with comb-like conveyor belts that pick the berries and carry them attached to burlap bags. The bags are emptied into bins and delivered to fresh fruit receiving stations where they are graded and screened based on their color and ability to bounce (soft berries will not bounce). Dry harvested berries are sold as fresh fruit.