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Cranberry U-Pick Orchards in Michigan in 2022, by area of state

Keep in mind, not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have cranberries orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!

These are the areas of the state that have cranberry orchards to pick cranberries. Click on the area closet you!

Cranberry bog tours

You can't pick your own at these, but these's a great tour

Cheboygan County

  • Michigan Cranberry Farm - cranberry bog tours
    9972 Alpena State Road, Cheboygan, MI 49721. Phone: 231-625-2700. Email: [email protected]. Open: Farm is open to the public only on specific days; call ahead to find out which days and dates! Directions: And for a map to our farm, click here. Crops are usually available in August. Payment: Cash, only. Harvested cranberries are available in mid October. They also have a tour of the cranberry operation. The tour consists of riding through the cranberry farm and seeing the various stages of harvesting and processing the berries. During the tour guests will be able to get off the bus for photographs and samples of cranberry products. Fresh cranberries will also be available for purchase in one, two, or five pound bags. Tours will depart from the bus garage behind the high school and will leave promptly at their scheduled departure time. Tickets are $5 per person and must be paid in advance. Tickets may be purchased at the Chamber office, or by mailing a check to the Chamber. For more information, please click here to visit the Michigan Cranberry Company Website or call the Chamber at (231) 627-7183.(UPDATED: May 10, 2015, JBS) (UPDATED: December 15, 2008)
    Comments from a visitor on August 04, 2008:
    "Off the beaten path, however, a great place to go and pick Northern Michigan berries." (ADDED: August 04, 2008)

 

Cranberry picking tips:

Cranberries are grown in fields called "bogs" because one common method of harvesting them is to flood the bog, then mechanic shakers loosen the berries from the plants.  The berries naturally float since they have an air chamber inside them! Then the floating berries are corralled or raked into a net or boat.

But... if you go to pick them, it will usually be in a dry field and you pick them off the plant!  The plans are low growing, less than 12 inches tall, so this isn't something for people with back probems!

Cranberry Growing Facts

The American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) or lowbush cranberry is a fairly small plant. It's more like a scraggly vine that can grow along the ground for up to 6 ft and less than a foot tall. In the Spring, the vines send out runners with flowers than become the cranberries. While you may think of them as growing in a  swamp or bog, they are actually grown in a normal field, which surrounded by earthen walls, is only flooded briefly during harvest time in the Fall.

Since cranberries float due to an air pocket inside them. commercial farms flood the fields (called bogs)  then use water reels called "egg-beaters" to loosen the cranberries from the vines, freeing them to float to the surface of the water. They then use floating booms to corral the berries and draw them to a corner where they can rake them in.

Choosing good cranberries

Good cranberries float!  Mushy ones usually sink!

Pour them in to a large bowl of cold water, and swirl them around, scoop them out with your fingers, feeling for any mushy berries, as you scoop.  Discard any mushy, soft berries. The picture of the 4 berries shows you unripe through ripe.  I'd throw out the one on the far left, but use the other 3.

Good cranberries are firm, not mushy and dark red.  Firm and pale red are okay and usable just not ideal.

More Tips

  • Don't wash cranberries until just before using to prevent spoilage.
  • Keep cranberries cool after picking to increase shelf life.  The fruit/vegetable drawer of a refrigerator is perfect.
  • Cranberries are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity and high in vitamin C compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of cranberries has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease.

Cranberry Recipes

Yes, you can "can" them or freeze them for later use, or use them fresh, see below!

 

Other Local Farm Products (Honey, Horses, Milk, Meat, Eggs, Etc.)
(NOT pick-your-own, unless they are also listed above)


Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book