Mike Wainio, owner of the Wainio Bogs in Carver, Massachusetts.
Last week I was way out in Massachusetts wrapping up the last part of a two week trip around New England areas – a mix of work and leisure travel. For those not familiar, Carver is right outside Boston, and home to my friend Merri and her family. Well, it turns out that Carver is a MASSIVE cranberry producer – at one point in the mid 1900s being the largest producer in the US.
I had ALWAYS wanted to see the cranberry bogs and flooded fields in person. And while visiting one of the Wainio bogs I was invited to come back and see them flood the fields the next day!
You have no idea how excited I was. Hell. Yes.
Honestly I tried my best to not be pushy with my friends about coming back right on time the following day. But this chance was going to make my whole trip that much more awesome. Seriously. We’ve all seen the Ocean Spray commercials with the fields full of floating cranberries. I was about to see that in real life. Sweet!
Well that Saturday I returned to the bogs with my friend Brittany. I chatted with Tony, who runs the Berry Guys Farm Stand on location there where you can buy all sorts of fresh fruit and vegetables. It was Tony who had first invited me out to see the flooding the day before and also said I could come back watch the harvesting. I then spoke briefly with Mike and Brandon who were going to be farming the field and doing the actual harvesting. They said come back in an hour or so and they’d be out there working.
No problem. To the coffee shop!
An hour later Brittany dropped me off so I could shoot – she had a couple errands to run.
I wandered out to the bog where Mike and Brandon were starting their laps on the threshers. I waved hello and pointed to my camera and threw a thumbs-up… basically non-verbally asking if it was cool to take photos of them. Mike yelled back “Wanna come out here with us?” “Uh… YEAH!” was my response.
I walked around to the ramps. Mike picked me up on his thresher, and soon I was out on the water with them harvesting cranberries! SO.DAMN.COOL. I’m sure to a degree I seemed “so Californian” to think this was as great as it was, but who gets a chance like this out of the blue?
I spent the next hour and a half with Mike chatting about everything from cranberries to motocross – Mike used to race motocross and I used to handle all photography for K&N Filters, so he was completely familiar with my old employer.
There was so much I never knew about cranberry bogging that I learned.. here are a few things…
There are two types of harvesting. Wet harvest and Dry harvest. Wet harvest is what people all know about due to photos and Ocean Spray commercials, the flooded fields. These berries are immediately brought to the plant for processing since they will spoil within about 48 hours. Wet harvest berries are used in jams, sauce, juice, etc. Dry pick berries are harvested with a different type of thresher and used for everything else (dried berries, cooked into foods, etc).
Below are 40 more images I shot while at the bogs. I encourage everyone to read on. The experience was really amazing, and I’ll share more in the captions as usual.
Click the break for the rest of the images: