What a treat to spend a gorgeous fall day out in the Pinelands of New Jersey at a cranberry farm. This is peak harvesting season for cranberries that are wet harvested and it was interesting to see the process. Once the bog is flooded a “beater” is run through it to dislodge the berries. The berries then float to the surface and are corralled and swept up into large dump trucks. There is an amazing system of bogs and reservoirs that allow the farmer to control the irrigation and ultimately the process of flooding the bogs for harvest. Dump truck after dump truck, filled to the brim with cranberries just harvested, lined the sandy road on the farm as they awaited dumping into the processing area. Until you see it, it is hard to comprehend the amount of cranberries that come out of these bogs. Our host was Tom Budd on the Theodore H. Budd and Sons farm, founded in 1852. Tom is the 5th generation cranberry farmer on this land and it was clear that he loves his work. Interestingly, we learned that the wet harvested cranberries are not the ones we see in the grocery stores – those are dry harvested. The wet harvested ones go into the various products like cranberry sauce and juice. The bonus for the day was the perfect weather and the stunning beauty of the Pinelands where trees have begun to turn color filling the eye with stunning reds and golds.
Some days the ocean is just gorgeous and presenting the world with great waves for surfing!