This post is for my friend who asked me where cranberries come from. Since I haphazardly brought up the conversation, and sort of committed myself to explaining the life-cycle of the humble cranberry, I thought I would respond to him with a short post here on the Weblog. I will even throw in a photo too, of a cranberry field, shot just this past week when I was hiking out on the levy in Glen Valley last Wednesday.
In short, cranberries are grown from cranberry bushes. They are planted in fields, just like grapes, except that when they pick the cranberries, they flood the fields with water so that the cranberries detach from the bushes by floating from off of the branches to the surface of the water. The harvester then just scoops the cranberries up from on top of the water. The workers push the floating cranberries towards the vacuum pump, and from there are loaded into storage containers to be sorted and cleaned. I am sure the workers also help shake the bushes to help the berries float to the water surface.
North Langley Township, here in British Columbia, is ideal for cranberry production because of the low laying land, and water from the Fraser River. If you love cranberry sauce with your turkey, then you came to the right place. 🙂