Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cranberry Festival

Mom and I have been trying to make it to the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival for years. Today, despite the misty moisty morning, we braved the weather and were able to go out and enjoy it. I didn't really take any pictures at the festival site. It was mostly booths selling all manner of items from jewelry to soap to chocolates with LOTS of cranberry themed items. We tried cranberry chutney, cranberry salsa, cranberry fudge, cranberry juice, actually we got a few bottles of cranberry juice and craisins (dried cranberries) from Ocean Spray and a bunch of other cranberry items. They crowned a "Cranberry King" and everything.
From the festival site IN Fort Langley, we went down to The Fort Winery where we tried white and red cranberry wine and a yummy raspberry dessert wine before heading down to the actual cranberry bogs to see how they are harvested. There weren't any guides but I did grill one of the nice workers and he gave me a bit of information.
The top picture shows the cranberries growing on the vines in the bogs. Those ones have actually been harvested already and the ones on the edge are just left. We never did determine if they don't harvest them or if they can't but in either case they are left there.
The second picture shows the bog once it's been filled with water and the cranberries have been loosened. They float to the top and then are raked over and sucked up a huge tube. The generator on the right moves them down the tube to the truck.
These berries are destined to become craisins. We asked what they do with the white cranberries (which are just unripened) and they said that they just dye them with the juice of the red berries!!! It was really neat to go down and see the process up close and personal. It was pretty muddy but it was worth it.


Martha said...

Hey, what timing, Hubby just had some show on about the harvesting of cranberries. Your post covered pretty much everything that the folks on the History Channel (or maybe it is the Science one?) talked about. I grew up in an area known for cranberries but was an adult before I learned about the intentional flooding of the bogs. I guess the grandparents didn't want us grandkids to know that sometimes it is ok to create a flood.

Ps: Happy Thanksgiving!

Veronica in Aus said...

Fascinating - I had no idea that's how cranberries were grown.