Eating Berries on the Bog

Just picked cranberries

I’ve lived on the East Coast for more than 30 years and finally visited my first cranberry bog on Sunday. I drove to Flax Pond Farms in Carver, MA, (about an hour away) where some of the farm’s bogs are 100 years old. Pretty amazing!

Dry method of harvesting cranberries

The farm had about 37 acres of bogs and in recent years began growing Christmas trees. This farm used the dry method of harvesting and they sell their fruit as whole berries. The other method is to flood the bogs and harvest them wet, which is what you see on Ocean Spray commercials.

So I got to see several workers pushing these small machines around one of the bogs that shakes the berries off the plant and scrapes them into the burlap bags. They also gave me some just-picked berries to eat right on the bog. They said the berries at the beginning of the season are sweeter, so these were pretty sour, which is what I expected. At the end of the day a helicopter comes in and collects the large bins of berries that dot the bogs  — I didn’t stay to see that.

Cleaning the berries

They also hand cleaned some berries for me to take home, which meant they were sifted through this really, really old machine that separated the ripe berries from seeds and leaves. I bought some cranberry honey that they make on the farm, too, which I tasted tonight — and it really does have this wonderful cranberry flavor.

If you’re looking for a quaint little bog to visit, check out Flax Pond Farms in Carver, which is close to Plymouth and its famous rock.

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