The Nantucket Cranberry Festival 2011 will take place Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm., at the Milestone Cranberry Bog. Cranberries have been growing on Nantucket Island, MA since 1800's, and this is open to visitors and locals.The Milestone Bog, located in Sconset, is cultivated for about 193 acres. The Windswept Bog, located off Polpis Road, is cultivated for 25 acres and it is certified organic, both owned and managed by the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. According to their website nantucketconservation.org "Wild cranberries were served at the first Thanksgiving meal." Nantucket Island harvests close to 2 million pounds of cranberries per year from both Milestone Bog and Windswept Bog.
At the festival you can learn and observe how the cranberries are being harvested. There will be two experts that will answer any questions and give you the history. This will be a fun day full of activities for everyone. Typically the festival offers music by local artists, hay rides, food tastings, self-guided tours, cranberry harvesting, sack races, face paintings, wool spinning and sheep shearing observations. You will be able to purchase lunch, snacks, candy, honey, and other cranberry products. While there you can also purchase berries for the upcoming holiday celebrations. See a great video by Plum TV here.
"During wet harvesting, a section of bog is flooded with a foot or so of water. A machine called a water reel beats the submerged vines with a series of horizontal paddles. This causes the naturally-buoyant cranberries to detach from the vines and float to the surface of the water. They are then corralled and pulled to the edge of the bog with floating wooden booms. The fruit is loaded into large dump trucks by a conveyor. Following washing and screening, the berries are shipped by tractor trailer to the mainland to be processed by fruit handlers." (from Nantucket Conservation Foundation: www.nantucketconservation.org)
Admission is free. Parking is $10. If it rains, the date will be October 9, 2011. For more information visit nantucketconservation.org or call 508.228.2884