Yesterday I went to one of the cranberry fields in Southern New Jersey to see how the harvest was going this year. However, it was late in the season and most of the cranberries had already been harvested. By the side of the road, here’s how the remaining cranberries looked in a field flooded with water.
There were some yellow wildflowers growing on the periphery of the cranberry fields.
After cranberries are harvested, water is pumped out and the fields will remain dry to wait for the planting of next year’s crop in early spring. They look purplish in color as of yesterday.
Following are some photos I took today of cranberries being harvested in southern New Jersey. The harvest starts in October and usually lasts until the beginning of November.
First the cranberry fields are flooded with water. Then the ripe cranberries are separated from their plants with the use of machines called “egg beaters”. The berries, which have four air sacks, inside float on the water and are corralled as shown below.
While driving toward the town of Chatsworth, the center of New Jersey cranberry industry, I noticed some bright red colors beyond the pine trees lining the highway.
Coming closer to the red areas, I saw a lot of cranberries on the ground.
They may be cranberries discarded by the Ocean Spray processing plant, but I have no way of confirming that. In past years, when a season brought in too many cranberries, growers are legally allowed by the Capper-Volstead Act to dump part of their crops to keep cranberry prices stable.