Dry Harvesting at Fairland Farms {video}

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.

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In Praise of Farmer’s Markets

I was very lucky to have had the experience of living on a farm for a part of my childhood. My grandparents were dairy farmers and also had extensive vegetable gardens; entire fields of produce that they sold, canned or used to barter with their neighbors. I know first hand that food tastes much better right from the garden, still warm from the sun. I truly believe that those early days on that farm connected me to the earth in a way that has influenced my entire life and certainly instilled in me a deep respect for those who have the title of “farmer”.

If you look at the faces of people shopping at the grocery store, do you ever try to imagine what they are thinking of? I imagine that they are thinking of things like, “what’s on sale and what can I afford?” “What looks good in the produce aisle?” “How much time do I have to cook dinner tonight and still drive the children to soccer practice?” [Read more…]