Harvesting 101—Harwich company offers cranberry bog tours, Sept/Oct Cape Cod Life | capecodlife.com

Photographs by Olivier Le Queinec, shutterstock.com

For a behind-the-scenes look at how Cape Cod’s best-known fruit is grown, harvested, and marketed, consider spending a few hours learning about the life of a cranberry bog. Located at 1601 Factory Road in Harwich, Cape Cod Cranberry Bog Tours offers informational tours of the bog all year long.

On the tour, visitors of all ages can learn about the different stages of the cranberry growing calendar, and guides will explain the different steps taken each month in order that September’s harvest turns out successful. Throughout the tour, a brief video on harvesting is shown, and as visitors explore the bog either on foot or by open cart, depending on the group’s size, they can learn about the two types of harvests (wet and dry), how different harvesting tools are used, and more.

According to Leo Cakounes, who runs the bog with his wife, Andrea, one of the biggest surprises for tour participants often comes when they discover that cranberry commercials on television are heavily staged. “Cranberries do not float naturally,” Cakounes says, “and they are not grown in water. This happens one day out of the year for harvesting—meaning tours have a one-in-365 chance of seeing them float.”

Visitors can also check out the bog’s farm stand, where sweet and dried cranberries are sold alongside jams and jellies, books and magazines, cranberry soaps, and cranberry honey harvested from bees living on the bogs.

Cakounes says keeping the Cape’s remaining local bogs active is crucial in preserving the heritage of the region. “The commercial cranberry industry began here on Cape Cod,” he says. “Although we may not be the largest producers of cranberries now, it is more of a heritage piece that I feel is important.”

Tours are held daily, but are by reservation only. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for children under 18.
Cash only. For more information, visit cranberrybogtours.com, or call 508-432-0790.

Savor the flavors at Red’s

What better way to follow a tour of cranberry bogs than to enjoy a Thanksgiving sandwich made with fresh cranberry sauce? Red’s Pizza at 703 Main Street in Harwich also features a signature scallop and bacon pizza, along with a variety of other pizza and calzone options. Learn more at redpizzacapecod.com. 508-432-7298 — Catherine  Kierce