Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cranberries ... The Other Cash Crop!!

Besides oysters (yuck), this area is known for it's other cash crop ... the cranberry (yummy)!!  So much so that they even have a Cranberry Museum and Research Center northeast of Long Beach, free of charge.
There were several fields of cranberries, most about 12 inches deep with boards around the entire outside.  These test patches with different varieties, are all hand picked .... dry.  The other fields are flooded with water, then worked to loosen the cranberries, where they are finally gathered up for processing.   The cranberries grow on vines in sandy soil, needing bees for pollination and can produce for 100 years or more!!  They are planted from mowed or pruned cuttings which are pushed into the soil with a blunt disc.  The vines take root and spread out, taking about three years before the first harvest.
The older harvest equipment consisted of a bucket with tines (below left) ... with the slightly more modern cutter shown here.  Today, tractor/shakers are used for harvesting in the flooded fields.
When working in the bogs, they didn't want to crush the cranberries, so Bog Boots were worn.  Who knew???
Here was a shocker ... cranberry bog railways???  Both lumber and steel rails were placed throughout the bog for ease in hauling irrigation equipment and harvesting boxes.
There is a half mile trek through the area if you feel like a hike.  It looks like there is nothing in the fields ... but if you look close, the cranberries suddenly come into view!!
This is one tour that doesn't end in the gift shop, but we went in to take a look anyway.  There is every kind of syrup, jelly and cranberry product you can imagine.  Even Foggy Bog Salsa!!!
And certainly you can't have a cranberry museum without cranberry glass ...
The Cranberry Museum checked off our list of attractions, Dan was lulled by the 50%-off-the-sale-price sign into Dennis Company where he scored some tools for a song!!  Patty and I just wanted to prove we weren't the ONLY ones shopping on this trip!!!
Speaking of shopping ... there were some rather unusual things to purchase here on the Washington Coast, including this Habitats Chicken Coop ... and it's portable so you can move it in order to clean underneath.  I actually would't mind having this one!
One last stop in Jacks Country Store for stocking stuffers, I moseyed around and checked out the amazing number of weird, hard to find items.  On the top shelf was this Easy-Bake oven.  It never was on my list of playthings ... it didn't have ears and a tail!
The "original" Rubber Duck squeaky toy!!!
A Star Trek lunchbox!!  I could sell this for $50.00 in my hometown!!
And finally, the coup-de-grace!!!  OWL PUKE!!!  I'm sure you have looked for this prize everywhere without success.  No hurry, they had several that I'm sure will still be here by the time you arrive.  When I was a kid, we had lots of owls in our hay barns, that left little gift packages, but not ONCE did I EVER want to dissect one, so I never EVER imagined they would package those for sale.  I'm speechless!!!
The next few days will be spent finishing up our shopping and beach treasure hunting!! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the memories. When I lived in Long Beach, Dennis Company was one of our favorites. And if we couldn't find it there, we knew we could always run to Ocean Park to Jacks. Gas was cheaper there also. Glad you enjoyed yourself on the peninsula.