Winter at the Bogs
The cranberry vines may be dormant but there is so much going on at the bogs in the winter, trust us there really is no “off season” here.
So what are we up to? Each winter is a little different in New England. Some winter’s we are knee deep in snow and others our boots are touching the ground and it’s relatively mild. Regardless, things need to get done and we dress for the weather.
One of the most important winter tasks is sanding. During the extra cold winters we can typically create layers of ice over the bogs by flooding them and letting mother nature’s chilly temps ice them over. This is actually ideal and we prefer it! It allows us to sand the bogs using large trucks to sift sand over the ice. (Yes, we really take big trucks on the ice!) Once the ice thaws the sand falls over the vines and acts as a natural pest deterrent and gives the soil and vines a little refresh! If it’s a mild winter and ice isn’t in the forecast we have to delay sanding closer to the spring and we sift the sand directly over the vines. We prefer sanding over the ice but when it’s a mild winter we make do.
Although we prefer colder winters for sanding, the mild winters have their benefits too. During mild winters we can get a jump start on bog renovation projects. We take older bogs that are misshapen and poor producing and renovate them to be more efficient. Over the last three years we have renovated over 30 acres of producing cranberry bogs. These projects entail quite a lot of work. You can read more about bog renovations here: “Building a Bog”.
Other winter tasks include machine maintenance, cleaning and organizing the shop, meetings, as well as checking the irrigation system to prepare for the spring and frost season. You can read more about springtime at the bogs here.
On the Cape Cod Select side of things we are operating at full speed. The office team and the manufacturing team are all in house 5 days a week to ensure all of our products are getting to your local grocery stores. We are also traveling to food shows to introduce our products to more grocery retailers and even international markets.
So despite cranberries being harvested in the fall we’re year round operations and each season is important to the growing of the cranberries and our businesses.