Earlier this month, Heavy Table photographer Becca Dilley took a day to visit Wisconsin cranberry country and watched the harvest come in. Wetherby Cranberry Company is one of most publicly accessible cranberry marshes in the state of Wisconsin, which in turn provides 55 percent of the world’s supply of the fruit.
A ramp (above) is set up for the purpose of giving a modified tractor access to the marsh.
The harvester then enters the shallow water.
Once in the marsh, the harvester agitates the cranberry plants, knocking the berries loose. In a good year, each acre of Wetherby marsh produces about 200 100-pound barrels of berries (about 20,000 pounds).
The berries float to the surface, where they are corralled, pumped up, and trucked to a gravity sorter that brings them into the processing plant. Here, they’re sized, further sorted, and packaged for retail and direct sales.
For more on Wisconsin cranberries, check out our cranberry blossom tour and recipes.