This couple is smiling because they are the first winners of a free pound of Fairland Farm/Cape Cod Organic sweetened dried cranberries. Chris and Agnieszka participated in the “buy ten/get one free” punch card program that Fairland offers for our frequent buyers. If you don’t have a punch card come on out and see Bonnie at the Hope Artiste Village Farmer’s Market on Saturday’s from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at 1005 North Main Street in Pawtucket. We will continue to offer this program for the remainder of the winter market and will continue it into the summer market at Hope Street where we will be vending on Saturday mornings from 9:00 – 1:00 as well as Wednesday evenings 3:00 – 6:00.
Dry harvesting, the “new” old way. Cranberries were once scooped by laborers with wooden scoops while crawling on their hands and knees. The cranberries were collected in wooden boxes then brought to a screening house for sorting. Times changed and mechanical harvesters were invented, but the labor is still very intensive. These dry pickers are called Furfords. They are chain driven and guided by experienced workers. They follow the contour of the bog, and the berries are separated from the vine, rising up a conveyor belt and dropped into burlap bags which will be brought to collection points for screening.
The cranberry bogs are flooded with 6 to 8 inches of water so the Water Pick Tractors can drive through and separate the berries from the vine. These tractors have agitating, spinning rollers on the front that graze the vines, causing the cranberries to be released. Cranberries float because the interior seed cavity has a hollow area. The bogs are then flooded to a depth of approximately two feet so they can be corralled by a floating boom. The cranberry has now grown to its ripest, fullest state and is ready for its journey to you.