By Yankee Magazine
Feb 05 2018
The berries make their way up and then into trucks for transport.
For “Trade” (season 2, episode 4), Weekends with Yankee met up with the Gilmore family of South Carver, Massachusetts, to experience the colorful cranberry harvest. Here,Yankee digital editor Aimee Tucker shares a behind-the-scenes look at the annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration, held on Columbus Day weekend in nearby Wareham.
Cranberries are the official state berry of Massachusetts, and each fall, bogs across the southeastern part of the state are flooded in preparation for the annual harvest. Unlike with apple or pumpkin picking, however, the cranberry harvest happens almost entirely at a distance, with little opportunity for public participation. This makes sense, given its aquatic setting and the machinery required to sort and transport the berries. But if you’ve always wanted to see a bog filled with ripe cranberries up close, the annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration at the A.D. Makepeace Company (the world’s largest cranberry grower) in Wareham, Massachusetts, is sure to become your new favorite fall event.
At this rain-or-shine celebration, cosponsored by the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association and Ocean Spray Cranberries, you’ll find food (both the local and “fair food” kinds), live music, crafts, wagon rides, children’s activities, paddleboat rides on Tihonet Pond, and more. The highlight of the day, though, is the shuttle ride to the bogs themselves, where experienced growers demonstrate the phases of the wet and dry harvest, offering up-close views of the ruby berry–filled bogs. Here’s a closer look at the 2017 festival.
The 15th annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration will be held (rain or shine) the weekend of October 6–7, 2018.