Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rebuilding a cranberry bog

Before heading to the hospital yesterday, I took my dad to the bog. My dad has worked on and then owned  cranberry bogs all his life, and now that he is retired, he still loves to go to the bog to see what is going on.
Dad wanted to see how the rebuilding of my brothers bogs were coming along. For the past several days their help had been setting out new cranberry vines on some very old bog that needed to be resurfaced and replanted with newer and more productive vines.
The vines that had been on the bog were an old variety and the bog was out of grade which means it had a lot of uneven spots. Before replanting could begin the bog had to be stripped of the old vines and graded with heavy equipment. My brothers chose to plant a new variety of cranberry vines called Crimson Queen to replant their bog. I took several photos of the process.
bog greening up this photo is a section of old producing bog that will soon have blossoms and doesn't need to be replanted. Looks like a carpet of green. Cranberries ARE NOT grown in water, but are surrounded by ditches with water in them, and are irrigated. The bogs are flooded to water pick in the fall, and then the water is again released.
In the winter the bogs are flooded when the temperatures are freezing to protect the vines on the bogs. When the weather warms up some the water is taken off, and a layer of ice covers the bog and the vines can still
get oxygen so the vines don't die off.
  bog water rushing thru the flume pipe sections of established bog with large irrigation ditch and flume pipe.
bog tip of vine setting tool tip of a long handled tool used to make holes in the sand of the bog to plant cranberry vines
bog another type vine setting tool tip of another type of  planting tool.

The sand on the bog is marked with a rake to make lines so the vines can be planted in straight rows. The newly planted vines  that appear to be dead, but the vines quickly take root and  green up and spread out to form a carpet of vines that will eventually spread to cover the bog.  The tool pokes a hole in the sand and then the vine is placed into the hole and tamped into place.
bog vine marker tool marking rake
bog marking the bog to set vines in rows marking rows with special wooden rake for planting in even rows
bog cut vines ready for planting cut vines..the vines that will be transplanted are trimmed from vines on other sections of bog.
bog new set vines close up newly set cranberry vines
bog new set vines2
bog Jenny setting vines2setting out new vines
bog Kim getting vines to plant vines waiting to be planted by Kim one of our wonderful Cambodian workers.
bog setting vines1
bog laying a tile drainage ditch laying pipe in middle of the bog section that will drain any standing water after irrigating the bog
bog moving sand removing sand from the bog from laying of the tile drainage ditch in the center of the bog
bog laying a tile drainage ditch2
bog laying pipe for center bog drainage laying pipe
bog reservoir reservoir at the bog for irrigation
bog sand pile one of many sand pits around the bog. Sand is used on the bog to build up the bog bed that the vines are planted in. Also about every 5 years sand is spread on the bog in the winter time when the bog is covered with ice. (called ice sanding)
bog screen all this piece of equipment screens/sifts the stones from the sand
bog stink pot pond lilies I don't know the real name of these water lilies, but as kids we called called them stink pots, because the flower smells so bad. I didn't see any of the pretty white or pink water lilies blooming yet.
bog stink pot pond lilies3
bog sun turtle3 sun turtle
bog flower little white flower I saw in the woods while searching for lady slippers. I didn't find any lady slippers that were blooming.  Don't know if I was too early or too late, or if the deer ate the flowers.
ladyslipper plant looking for lady slippers but only found leaves
bog bay berry plants bay berry bushes growing on the side of the sand pit

I hope you found the info and photos informative on cranberry culture. You can view cranberry harvest pictures in my picture trail album cranberry pictures. I also blogged about our cranberry harvest last fall. You can read my old post here....cranberry-harvest water-picking 2010
So, when you drink Ocean Spray cranberry juice, or eat fresh berries, or any other cranberry products from Oceasn Spray you maybe tasting some of our fruit.

While at the bog, I also saw some wild strawberry plants with blossoms (right) and wild blackberries (left).
bog strawberry plant bog blackberries in bloom
I looked for May flowers and tea berries but couldn't find any. As a child my brothers and I would look for tea berries and enjoyed eating them. Does anyone remember Clark's Teaberry flavored gun? It was our favorite, but it is very hard to find today. There is one general store in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod that sells teaberry gum, and I always stock up when I go there.
It was a wonderful day spent with my dad and the weather and sunny..perfect.
We had a good visit with my mom on Friday, but sadly that wasn't the case with today's visit. My mom was having a very bad day. We have started the paper work for nursing home placement.  I hate thinking of mom in a nursing home.
Enjoy your long holiday, Memorial Day Weekend.
elaine signature3


Joanne Huffman said...

Wow, I knew nothing about cranberries; I love the photos and the info. Glad you and your dad had a good time together. I hope you have success with your mom's placement. I know from experience it's difficult; but she will benefit from the constant care and regular schedule.

Alicia said...

Thanks for sharing yet another interesting view of Cranberry Growing! Your views are always so informative and exciting to read about. I never knew anything about this until you posted the first posting on it! Thanks for sharing!!!! *Hugs*

Penny Duncan Creations said...

That is SO very interesting Elaine!!!! That's so much work just to set one up....Very very impressive!!!!

Judee said...

Thank you for the explanations and pictures. I found this extremely interesting, and loved learning how a cranberry bog is planted....I never knew this.
Hugs, Judee