Cranberry Bogs

Southeastern Massachusetts is dotted with cranberry bogs.  Looking at a Google satellite image of South Carver, Massachusetts shows just how extensive the cranberry farming is.  This area is known as the cranberry growing capital of the world.  And while the volume of cranberries grown in other places like Oregon may have surpassed this region, there’s still a strong association with this fruit and the place.

Cranberries are grown on dry land that is flooded for harvest.  The berries float to the surface, making harvesting them much easier than picking them by hand.  Farmers use a rake to pull the cranberries off the plants.  Machines have largely taken over this process.

In winter the cranberry bogs are transformed into acres of frozen ponds that quietly wait out the winter.  Flooding the bogs protects the plants from hard freezes.  To me the bogs are almost as interesting to watch as they march through the seasons as a stand of maple trees.  Each season brings a new face to the bog, and the transition from ice to brown to green to crimson is fascinating.

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