|Autumn Harvest of Cranberry
in New Jersey
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On Saturday, October 9, 2010, we toured the cranberry bogs/farm in Double Trouble State Park located on
the eastern edge of the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, USA. Our main interest was to enjoy watching the autumn
harvest of cranberry in several cranberry bogs in this State Park. October 9 is the second day of the cranberry
harvest period from October 8 to 11 in this State Park.
A truck with a full load of harvested cranberries is carrying them away to the receiving station at Chatsworth,
which is surrounded by several major cranberry farms.
A conveyor belt is loading the harvested cranberries onto a truck.
I took a movie clip of the workers, trucks and machines in action on cranberry harvesting on cranberry Bog #1
as shown at the following YouTube website:
Zoom in for closer views of the cranberry shrubs/vines with the red cranberries in Bog #3. They are
evergreen dwarf low creeping shrubs with small evergreen leaves. The red cranberries are larger than the
On October 9 when we were touring, the cranberry bog #2 (Upper Hooper Bog) in the middle was in the
process of being flooded and two water reel type harvester machines were working to knock and to shake
the red cranberries off the shrubs such that the cranberries float up to the water surface.
We thank May Lee for the information on the cranberry harvesting and 16th Annual Pine Barrens Jamboree,
and for leading us to these two Parks to enjoy the fun day in the Pine Barrens.
Zoom in even more for a much closer view of the cranberries.
It is a well known American tradition to eat turkey and cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving Day and on the
Christmas Day. Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, and sweetened dried
cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers. (Some viewers in foreign countries asked me if
cranberry is edible.)
This is a map of at least 5 cranberry bogs in this State Park. We toured the three adjacent cranberry bogs on
within 1.5 mile walking distance from the unpaved parking lot at the entrance to the State Park.
When we arrived at about noon time, the first cranberry bog (Gowdy Bog) on the upper left part of the map
was already fully flooded and the cranberries were being harvested as shown on the photos above.
We then moved to the bog #2 (Upper Hooper Bog) in the middle and the bog #3 (Lower Hooper Bog) on the
right side of the three adjacent bogs as shown on the photos in the following.
The bog #2 was being flooded and the harvester machines were working on eastern part of Bog #2.
I took a short movie clip of the harvester machines in action as shown in the following YouTube website:
The belt that can float on water surface is used to corral the floating cranberries into tight cranberry raft.
More photos and stories on cranberry harvesting are available on May Lee's web page at:
There are several cranberry farms in the Pine Barrens in New Jersey. There may be another opportunity to
see cranberry harvest on the following weekend of October 16-17, 2010 during The 27th Annual Cranberry
Festival in Chatsworth, New Jersey as described in the following websites:
After we finished watching cranberry harvest, we drove south about 10 miles to Wells Mills County Park in
Waretown, New Jersey to enjoy 16th Annual Pine Barrens Jamboree! In 1995 when this annual October
event started, 5,000 people flocked to Wells Mills County Park to celebrate the Pinelands’ rich history,
traditions and culture. The big event features the sounds/music of the Jersey Pines, traditional crafts of the
Pines, nature and history programs, kids' programs and Piney Vittles! When we arrived in the afternoon of
October 9, 2010, the paved parking lot inside the park was full and many visitors, including us, had to park
their cars along Route 532 just outside of the park.
Many cranberries that are floating on water surface are corralled into cranberry “raft” on the first cranberry
bog (Gowdy Bog) in this State Park as shown in this photo.
Zoom in for a closer view of the cranberry raft
Trucks with machines and large hose on the side of the cranberry bog pump the cranberries up, separate out
the water and debris, then load the harvested cranberries onto a truck by a conveyor belt.
When we were touring on October 9, the cranberry bog #3 (Lower Hooper Bog) was still dry (i.e. not flooded
yet) except the perimeter ditch such that we could see the cranberry shrubs or vines with the red cranberries
in Bog #3 as shown on this photo.
Zoom in for closer views of the water reel type harvester machine.
The acidic sandy soil in the Pine Barrens is ideal for growing cranberry.
The cranberry shrubs in western part of Bog #2 were partially submerged in the water, but had not been
worked on by the harvester machines yet.
This wet harvesting process involves the following stages: (1) Flood the cranberry bogs, (2) Use water reel
type harvest machine to knock the cranberries off the shrubs/vines, (3) The knock-off cranberries float up to
the water surface, (4) Corral the floating cranberries into tight cranberry raft on one side of the bog, (5) Pump
and collect the cranberries and load them onto a truck for shipment and processing.
Location of Double Trouble State Park:
Junction of Pinewald Keswick Road (CR-618) & Double Trouble Road (CR 619), Lacey and Berkeley
Townships, New Jersey. (But users of Garmin GPS navigators have to use Toms River Township)
Phone Number: (732) 341-4098
Directions for Double Trouble State Park:
1. Garden State Parkway Southbound, Take Exit 77.
2. At end of exit ramp, Turn right then immediately Turn left (south) into Double Trouble Road (County
Route 619) South
3. Go 0.5 mile south on Double Trouble Road (County Route 619) South to a traffic signal of the
Junction of Pinewald Keswick Road (CR-618) & Double Trouble Road (CR 619). Entrance of Double Trouble
State Park is at this Junction and is straight ahead across Pinewald Keswick Road (County Route 618).
Map: Click here to see Google Map showing location of Double Trouble State Park
Fresh cranberries for sale on one of several farm produce stands in the Annual Pine Barrens Jamboree. Some
visitors were buying the fresh cranberries here.
The music - all day long! Many of the "regulars" from Albert Music Hall/Pinelands Cultural Society were out
here singing and playing the sounds of the Jersey Pines on the Stage .
Many visitors sitting under the big tent or outside the tent enjoying the music.
Many artists, crafters, cooks, farmers and more that display and sell their product at this great event. There
are lots of handmade traditional crafts of the Pines for sale at the Jamboree, Pineland Regional Food
Specialties - for visitors to taste the "Piney Vittles", Miniature Live Steam Engine of the Tuckerton Railroad,
Working Sawmill Demonstration, various antique engines and tractors, demonstrations of wilderness survival
techniques, Seasons of the Pines by nature photographer, Animal Viewing at the 4-H area, with rabbits,
goats chickens, mini horses, etc.
The autumn harvest is evident here, with apples, pumpkins, cornstalks and much more.
We enjoyed very much a fun day in the Pine Barrens in central New Jersey!
The unpaved road and unpaved parking lot at the entrance of Double Trouble State Park for the tour of
It is believed that these bogs began as depressions resulting from the removal of bog iron ore deposits.
During colonial times, the Pine Barrens was home to various industries. Bog iron was mined from bogs,
streams, and waterways, and was worked in furnaces at Batsto, Lake Atsion, Ferrago, Hanover, and several
other locations. Iron from these early furnaces was instrumental in supplying the American military with
weapons and camp tools during the American Revolution and the War of 1812.