It’s once again everyone’s favorite time of year: Pine Island’s cranberry harvest is officially underway!
Our team isn’t going full speed ahead just yet. “We’re picking the three year old beds right now; the canopy’s not as thick so they color sooner and can tend to go south real quick,” says manager Matt Giberson. “We’ve only run two crews so far but in two days we’ve picked 45 acres.” He says the rot percentage is a little higher than we like to see, but that’s to be expected with young beds.
“The four year old beds aren’t not quite there yet, but some of the Crimson Queens at Sim Place are just about ready so we’re going to get them on Monday,” Matt says. “We’ll start with two crews again and possibly start the third at 20 Acre once it’s ready. We’re still waiting on color over there; it’s crazy that one year’s difference can be that much.”
As our team continues to renovate older beds to improve drainage and yield, we’ve been relying more and more on the Gates Harrow to knock the berries from the vines. The Gates Harrow is not as hard on the plants as the reel harvesters, and our renovation program is geared for increased efficiency by being user-friendly for equipment like this. And, of course, we made some upgrades last summer that have made the process even more efficient!
“Getting started has been stressful but getting better,” says Matt. “The quality looks great and the color looks great.”