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This week is probably the last week for this year’s cranberry harvest season. Last Saturday, as we drove by some bogs, I saw cranberries being harvested by what are called egg-beater machines, guided from behind by humans. This is how it has been done ever since the wet method for harvesting cranberries began half a century ago.

Cranberry egg-beaters

Cranberry egg-beaters

Here’s a closer look.

Egg beater

Egg beater

In comparison, some companies have built bigger egg-beater machines that can cover a width of as much as 30 ft. On such a machine, the operator sits on a seat and does not have to wade in the shallow water, except to entangle vines caught in the reels of the beaters. Over the past few years, these machines have also been equipped with GPS devices, which allows the operator to see on the screen the straight line paths that he needs to steer by in order to cover the entirety of a bog.

Wider egg-beater machine

Wider egg-beater machine

Cranberry bog

Cranberry bog

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