TWO Days ONLY! Cranberry Harvest Days in Michigan – Oct 2023

Cranberry Bog Harvest Day Michigan DeGrandChamps

Join the Cranberry Festivities at DeGrandchamp’s Farm

Looking for unique fall activities to add to your calendar?

Step into Michigan’s cranberry country with DeGrandchamp’s Farm’s annual celebration!

These family-friendly days are full of cranberry harvest activities, foods, and fun – and are only available twice in 2023.

Where: 76241 14th Ave, South Haven, MI 49090
When: October 7 & 14, 2023, 10 AM – 4 PM
Cost: Tours are $10 for adults & $5 for children, which includes all of the events for the day, except food tastings, which are $5 per plate.⁣

cranberry harvest day 2023 degrandchamp farms

What to Expect: A Day of Full of Cranberry Activities

1. Trolley Ride Bog Tour
Experience firsthand the beauty of the cranberry harvest as you take a trolley ride out to the bogs. You’ll be wowed by the sea of red, ripe cranberries and watch as they’re floated and then harvested from the bog. There’s a cranberry receiving pool tour, too!

Cranberry Harvest Days DeGrandChamps in Michigan

2. Behind-the-Scenes Look
See the sorting line and learn how cranberries are meticulously sorted and packaged so that they’re ready for processing.

3. Taste the Cranberry Magic
Head to the Food Sampling Tent for food tastings that show off new ways to use cranberries are an event highlight, as well as the visiting food trucks.

4. Retail Market Gems
Bring a piece of the farm home with you. Their retail market is stocked with cranberry products like jams, salsas, dried fruits, to freshly baked goods and even cranberry fudge!

DeGrandchamp Market

5. Kids’ Corner
This day is fun for all ages. Beyond the trolley rides, kids can dive into special activities that are just for them, like the Science Lab and other hands-on things to do.

Expect:

  • Cranberry STEM Lab
  • Fun games
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Cranberry Receiving Pool Tour
  • Ice Cream
  • Cider

Watching the Cranberry Harvest is Really Cool

Cranberries grow on short, shrub-like vines in wetlands (bogs or marshes) in cool regions that have an abundant fresh water supply.

You could pick cranberries by hand when they’re ripe, and that’s done sometimes, but it takes a long time and requires specific conditions. Thankfully, there’s a different way cranberries can be harvested – and it’s a pretty neat process.

That’s what you’ll see at DeGrandchamp’s Cranberry Harvest Days. Here are the steps the farm takes:

Wait for the Right Color: The first step is to wait until the cranberries achieve the right color, signaling that they are ripe and ready for harvest.

Cranberries growing on a bush in Michigan

Flood the Beds: Once the cranberries are ready, the beds are flooded with about 6 inches of water.

Knock Off the Fruit: A machine is brought in to knock the fruit off their vines. The cranberries are hollow and less dense than water, so they float up to the water’s surface.

Knocking the cranberries loose at harvest time

Corral the Cranberries: The floating cranberries are dragged to one side or corner of the bed using a containment boom.

Cranberry Bog Harvest Michigan

Pump Out the Berries: The gathered cranberries are pumped out of the water and collected.

Transport to Processing Plant: The harvested cranberries are placed into a gravity wagon and taken to a processing plant.

Screening and Cleaning: At the processing plant, the cranberries undergo screening and cleaning, ensuring they meet the standards that Ocean Spray has for their growers.

VIDEO OF CRANBERRY HARVEST

Cranberry_Harvest.mov from Christy Case on Vimeo.

How the Cranberries Came to Be in Michigan

Back in 1958, the DeGrandchamp family purchased a blueberry farm in South Haven, Michigan. Later, after visiting cranberry farm in Massachusetts, they thought, “Why not grow cranberries too?”

Today, their family has 40 acres filled with cranberries, 200 acres of blueberries, and approximately 7 acres of container grown nursery stock and greenhouses. They also have a modern packing and shipping facility with a farm market and offices.

And every year, they host a fun event named Cranberry Harvest Days to celebrate and share their love for cranberries with everyone.

Cranberry Harvest Days Mini Bog Photo Op
The farm makes a mini bog photo op most years!

Tell us about your cranberry harvest experiences in the comments!

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