Producing cranberries, at least in large numbers, can be a very expensive process. It basically involves spreading out the vines of cranberry shrub over a large area of sand. A blunt disk is then used to push the vines into the sand. Then you water the vines very heavily for a few week until roots form and there are shoots growing out of the vines. Then in late September or early October the cranberry beds are flooded with 6 to 8 inches of water and a harvester “id driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines.”
Cranberries grow on a low-lying vine. Harvested in the fall, each cranberry bed must have an ample water supply for irrigation and flooding. Growers flood the the cranberry beds to harvest the berries. Flooding causes the vines bearing the fruit to rise, so a harvester can move over the water and loosen the fruit from the vines. The brilliant red berries float tightly together, resembling a plush red carpet. The floating berries are corralled with wooden or inflatable booms, then pumped or pushed into waiting trucks. The flood water is recycled in the agricultural system, passing from bed to bed and grower to grower through an intricate underground piping system and ponds. The Oregon berry is sold as fresh fruit, processed into one of the popular juice or sauce products that have evolved in recent years, or sold for concentration.
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