Cranberry Country

Posted by on August 16, 2014

Surprisingly, as full as the park is it as relatively quiet last night…even before quiet hours began at 11:00 pm.

This morning I can hear the ‘pow, pow, pow’ of artillery fire off in the distance….there’s been quite a bit of that going on since we arrived.  Then, of course, there is the ‘music’ that plays at certain times of the day…Reveille (roughly 6:00 am), Mess Call (noon), Retreat (roughly 5:00 pm) and Taps (roughly 10:00 pm) there are other Bugle Calls as well but not all are played anymore and they are different from installation to installation.  Click HERE for a list of the Army Bugle Calls.  If you click on each you can hear what they sound like.

The Cranberry Discovery Center - Warren's, WI

The Cranberry Discovery Center – Warren’s, WI

We picked Stella and Jay up about 1:00 pm and drove up to Warrens, about 20 miles north on I94.  Warrens is self-proclaimed cranberry capitol of the world.  The town is only about 360 people strong but during Cranberry Festival (end of September) over 110,000 people flock to the area to enjoy the festivities!

Michael, Stella & Jay rounding up cranberries

Michael, Stella & Jay rounding up cranberries

We are right in the middle of the growing season as the harvest usually takes place in October.  So today we visited the Cranberry Discovery Center.  We expected a bit more than we got but it was still interested and we learned quite about cranberries and how they’re harvested.

Wine tasting!  The couple on the left are from Richmond, VA and heading west

Wine tasting! The couple on the left are from Richmond, VA and heading west

They have a self-guided tour of their small museum, a 6 minute video describing the process, samples of salsas and dips and even a wine tasting.  The website said that they had cranberry ice cream but there was no ice cream in sight.  We all partook of the wine tasting…4 local wines, all made with cranberries for a local winery called, DnA Vintners.  (Ha!  DnA!  That’s what we call our son Dan and his wife Amanda!)  Anyway…all 4 wines were pretty good….ones that Mike and I might actually drink.

Michael and I bought a jar of salsa and 2 small jars of jelly while Jay & Stella went home with a bottle of wine and some salsa.

A bog just being built.  Not a common sight as they can last up to 100 years.

A bog just being built. Not a common sight as they can last up to 100 years.

A few fun cranberry facts:

  • Wisconsin produces about two-thirds of the 500 million pounds of cranberry’s that Americans consume each year.
  • Every year cranberry growers harvest enough cranberries to give every man, woman & child in the world 26 cranberries!
  • Wisconsin has been the #1 cranberry producer in the nation for the last 19 years.
  • Anytime the temperature approaches 32 degrees cranberry growers turn on their sprinkler irrigation systems.  A think layer of ice forms around the plants  which basically insulates the plant from frost damage.
  • Bees are brought into the bogs in mid-June for 2-4 weeks to pollinate the cranberry blossoms so that they will produce berries.
A bog in full swing.  All that can be seen are the vines as the berries hang below

A bog in full swing. All that can be seen are the vines as the berries hang below

We took a ride around the area to check out some of the local bogs that they woman at the discovery center had told us about and then headed back to the campground.

Can't beat fresh veggies!

Can’t beat fresh veggies!

When we were back home I put some pork chops on the grill for dinner.  While we were out this afternoon we stopped at a local vegetable stand and I picked up some fingerling potatoes, green beans and pickling cucumbers which I made to go alongside the pork chops.

We ate dinner outside, although it was a bit on the humid side.  There was plenty going on to keep our people watching skills sharpened.  Since it was ‘Halloween’ today there were kids and adults roaming about in costume, going from site to site trick or treating.  We were the big, bad, mean adults that didn’t participate…  🙁

Relaxing evening at home...

Relaxing evening at home…

Michael built a fire after dinner and we sat outside until about 8:00 pm just relaxing and listening to the melodic ‘pow, pow, pows’ that have been going on all day long.

Now it’s time to settle in to watch a movie, Dark Skies, before hittin’ the hay.

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