FOXBORO, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Cranberries are more of a way of life than a fruit in Massachusetts, and the 12th Annual Fall Harvest Celebration at the bog behind Patriot Place on Saturday put them front and center.
Cranberry growers from Ocean Spray collected the berries from the flooded bog by corralling them with special rake-like tools. The cranberries don't grow in water: the dry bog is flooded in the fall, just as this one was flooded on Friday night. Then, growers gently knock the berries off their vines, taking care not to hurt the plants. The cranberries, which have tiny air pockets inside, float to the surface.
Ed Casey with Ocean Spray said the water doesn't go to waste.
"This water will be recaptured, moved to back to the reservoir, and used for frost protection and irrigation," he said.
Packets of Craisins were handed out to the crowd, but they also got an opportunity to taste raw cranberries. The berries are very sour and bitter when raw.
"I prefer when it's cooked, and when it becomes jam," said Collette, who was visiting from France.
Contrary to what you might think, Ocean Spray isn't a normal company, it's a farming collective. That means its 700 or so growers all share the profits from the cranberries and other fruit they grow.
WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) was at the festival: