Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Visit To Haines and Haines Cranberry Farm

Holly Haines and her brother, William S. Haines, Jr., are 4th generation growers who own and operate the largest cranberry farm in the state. With over 1,300 cranberry bogs in production, there's lots of work to do year round. The farms' 11,000 acres includes bogs, reservoirs and woodland. You need approximately 10 acres of upland (woodland, etc.) for every acre of bog to act as a buffer and to protect your water sources.The farm has evolved from a one-man operation started in 1890 by Martin L. Haines, to one of the largest privately owned facilities in the world. Over 35 full-time employees, many whose families have also been involved in the business for generations and 50 peak-season workers keep the Pine Island Cranberry business flourishing and expanding. Holly's love of her career, lifestyle and the farm is evident in her knowledge of all aspects of the business. Her enthusiasm for the new technologies of the future and her many intriguing stories of the past make her a fascinating and unique expert in her field. An informative guide and charming hostess, Holly has granted us permission to come back again any time during the harvest to take more photos. How very generous she is and how lucky we are! Here's a few of my photos taken at the bogs.


A an early fall bumper crop of lustrous cranberries are gathered in a flooded brown cedar water bog. This mixed color harvest floats on the surface of dark water after being thrashed up from the vines.


Swirling variegated cranberries make beautiful designs in the water as they are harvested.



After freeing the berries from their vines with walk-behind thrashers, seen here in the background, workers corral the fruit which will be transported via conveyor to waiting trucks.



Once the cranberries are in the corral , they are moved up a conveyor belt to a waiting truck which will be transport them to a packing house, where they will be cleaned. Then tractor trailer trucks will take them to the local processing plant.



Here workers break for lunch as one worker offers a hand to the last man out of the bog.


A walk-behind cranberry thrasher sits abandoned in a flooded bog while workers break for lunch. Big puffy clouds and a beautiful blue sky are mirrored in the water's reflection.