Harvest 2018 begins Sept 22!
Harvest is the most exciting time of the year. It’s when we (quite literally) get to see the fruit of our labour! We start two weekends before Canadian Thanksgiving and are usually finished by October 31st. We harvest only once a year. We have 27 acres to pick and produce around 300,000-400,000 lbs of cranberries.
Cranberries are grown and harvested like no other crop in the world. They’re also native only to North America. That makes them a fascinating part of our heritage! Drop by and learn about this unique crop!
- Harvest Hours (until Oct 31): 9-6 daily
- Daily Bog to Bottle Tour @ 11, 1 & 3
- includes guided tour and tutored wine tasting
- during harvest, the guided tour is on the wagon
- Enjoy a Wine Tasting
- Shop in The Cranberry Emporium
- Take The Cranberry Plunge
- Sample cranberry goodies at the Cranberry Cafe (Open daily Sept 29 – Oct 14)
- Hike the Trails
- Hunt for Geocaches
- Try kids’ activities like Critter Catching
- See harvesting and packinghouse operations (can vary)
- All Day Wagon Tours (weekends between Sept 22 & Oct 21)
- Helicopter Rides (Thanksgiving & Festival weekends)
- Take The Cranberry Plunge (weekends between Sept 29 & Oct 21)
- Harvest weekend dates:
- Sept 22-23
- Sept 29-30
- Oct 6-8 (Thanksgiving)
- Oct 12-14 (Bala Cranberry Festival)
- Oct 20-21
Bala Cranberry Festival
- Always the weekend after Thanksgiving!
- click here for more information
Will I see floating cranberries?
You will see cranberries – lots of them! BUT, we don’t always look like the commercials. We have three ways we can harvest – dry rake, wet rake and beating. You are visiting a working farm – which means we can’t always predict what will be going on during your visit.
The videos below show what harvesting often looks like here.
You may see:
- cranberries being dry harvested (without water – usually early in the harvest season)
- cranberries being picked with our Getzinger retracto-tooth picker (with water into shallow boats – usually mid-season)
- cranberries being ‘beaten’ (cranberries floating on the water – usually late in the harvest season after Festival weekend)
- cranberries growing on low vines
- cranberries being loaded for transport to the packinghouse
- cranberries going through the outside packing line (cleaning and drying)
- cranberries going through the packinghouse (mills, hand sorting, packaging)
What’s the best time to see the harvest?
This is a hard question to answer. Harvesting activities are going on everyday, but remember, you’re visiting a working farm. That means we manage a lot of variables – weather, equipment, staff, farm layout, picking/packing speeds, varying fruit conditions, etc. We can’t predict exactly what you’ll see when you visit, even if you call and ask us on the day you’re planning to visit. The good new is, we do offer activities that are geared to visitors and are predictable. Our wagon tour is a great way to learn about all aspects of cranberry growing and harvesting. Wine tasting is always available. With a trail pass, you can see the farm via our hiking trails.
What about crowds?
- Thanksgiving and Festival weekends are our busiest times – expect crowds and line ups
- less busy times are weekdays or early and late in the day on weekends
- we do get scheduled and unscheduled bus groups that can create crowds and line ups
- the Cranberry Plunge is busy on weekends – line ups can be 1-2 hours long – come early or book a weekday appointment
Do I need hip waders?
No. Places where visitors walk are not flooded. Our walkways are covered in gravel, but still, they can get muddy, and the ground can be uneven. Appropriate footwear for the weather and outdoors is highly recommended.
Do you charge for parking?
No. Parking is free.
Do you charge admission?
No. There is no charge to visit the farm. You only pay for the activities you’re interested in doing.
What can we do, how much does it cost, how long does it take?
- Everyone is welcome to shop in our store (which opens into the packinghouse, so, during operation, you can watch cranberries being sorted and packaged)
- Wagon Tours (approximately 20 minutes): $10 adults, $7 kids 12 & under, infants in laps free
- Wine Tasting (approximately 20 minutes): $7
- Cranberry Plunge: (approximately 10 minutes in the plunge, plus the time to put on and take off waders) $12 adults, $8 kids 12 & under (children must be over 137 cm – 4’6″)
- Hiking Trails: $5 adults, $3 kids
- All farm access pass:
- adults (wagon tour, wine tasting, cranberry plunge, trail pass) – $25
- designated drivers (wagon tour, cranberry plunge, trail pass) – $20
- kids (wagon tour, cranberry plunge, trail pass) – $15
- Helicopter Rides (not included in all access pass): 2018 price to be determined
Is there somewhere to eat?
- the Cranberry Cafe (an outdoor food tent) is open Sept 29 – Oct 14
- featuring cranberry sausage on a bun, peameal bacon on a bun with cranberry chutney, candied cranberries, hot/cold drinks
- when the Cafe is not open, we serve wine and a local cheese plate on our patio
Are there washrooms?
- we rent porta-potties during our harvest season – they’re environmentally friendly for our septic system
Check out some cool harvest footage!