Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cranberries in the Ghost Town

While writing Shadow of a Life, I did quite a bit of research into the town where the story takes place: 
Marion, Massachusetts

I chose Marion because that was the home of the real Briggs family featured in my book.
Even though I've "toured" the town numerous times on Google Earth, can I just say that I really, really, really want to go to Marion and see the town for real? How about this weekend? Can anyone make it happen? 

Here's why I must go now:

Coming soon to an Ocean Spray jug near you: Bill Morrisson uses a water picker to harvest the first cranberries of the season at a bog in Marion, Mass. Photo: Peter Pereira, Associated Press

Maybe it's the farmer's daughter in me, but I've always been fascinated with harvest seasons of all kinds. Cranberries are being harvested right now in Marion and the surrounding areas. 

How cool would that be to watch?

From what I understand--thanks to the Ocean Spray website--cranberries are usually harvested by flooding out the fields. The cranberries have an air pocket in them that make them float. When they're all happily floating, they're "raked" off the vines and corralled together so they can be scooped from the water.

I love my Idaho potatoes, but cranberry harvest looks prettier...and a lot less messy. And you haven't lived until you've SMELLED a potato harvest. Cough...cough...

Anyway, there is a free event near Marion this weekend where participants can take a tour and pick their own cranberries. I would really like to go. to fly across the country on 1 day's notice...