After a year’s absence, the Ocean Spray cranberry bog has returned to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The bog celebrates the harvest of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving fruit.
I had a chance to don hip waders and go into the cranberry bog to experience a bit of the annual cranberry harvest for myself. Join me in the bog in the photos below and learn more about Ocean Spray cranberries and what you’ll see at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, as well as what you can find online.
The Ocean Spray cranberry bog at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival represents the fall harvest. The start of the festival actually coincides with harvest season. While you can’t wade in the bog yourself, you can chat with a grower and learn about the process that brings cranberries from the field to your table. I had no idea that cranberries didn’t actually grow in water until I learned about how the bogs are flooded at harvest time on one of my visits to Epcot.
While I was visiting the cranberry bog at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, I had a chance to take a virtual experience going through a bog at harvest time and watching the entire process. I enjoyed the virtual reality version, and you can experience it yourself, albeit as a regular movie, by going to this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwAY_c8G8us
As I mentioned, you can talk with a real cranberry grower when you visit the Ocean Spray bog at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. You’ll also see what real cranberry plants look like before they get flooded if you take a close look all around the bog. See the fruit growing on those bushes? That’s the way they grow before harvest time.
Time for Cranberries
Ocean Spray is a co-op, and the growers and their families are proud of their traditions. Many work on farms that have been in their families for many generations. I met Lisl Detefsen, who authored the adorable children’s book “Time for Cranberries.” It’s a great book for parents who want to teach their kids more about how produce makes it from the field to the table.
Fun With Cranberries
I couldn’t resist having some fun with the cranberries while I was in the bog. It really is a blast wading around and watching how the berries bounce then you throw them,. Even though that experience isn’t available to the general public, you’ve still got a great option: free Craisins! There’s a booth near the cranberry bog that hands out the tasty treats throughout the festival.