There are two methods of harvesting.
Cranberries have pockets of air inside the fruit. Because of this, cranberries
float in water, and thus, the bogs can be flooded to aid in removal of fruit from the vines. Water reels, nicknamed “egg-beaters”
are used to stir up the water in the bogs. By this action, cranberries are dislodged from the vines and float to the surface
of the water. Wooden or plastic “booms” are used to round up the berries, which are then lifted by conveyor or
pumped into a truck to take them to the receiving station for cleaning. More than 90% of the Massachusetts crop is wet harvested.
Wet harvested cranberries are used for juices, sauces, sweeten dried cranberries or as ingredients in other processed foods.
Dry harvesting involves using walk-behind
machines to rake the berries off the vines into boxes or bags. Berries are removed from the bogs by either bog vehicles or
helicopters. The fruit is delivered to fresh fruit receiving stations where it is graded and screened based on color and ability
to bounce (soft berries will not bounce). Dry harvested cranberries are used to supply the fresh fruit market. These cranberries
are most often used for cooking and baking.