Elle the farm dog supervised the harvest. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Bright harvest of cranberries in Langley

Local farmers are flooding their fields and hauling in the fruits.

The cranberries are floating towards harvest in Langley.

The Dewit family farms in Glen Valley, members of the family will be busy for most of October harvesting the bright red berries from flooded fields.

“We started last Friday,” said Melanie Dewit. She anticipates they’ll finish in about two weeks.

She was working Thursday with her husband Colin and his father Jack to harvest a field off 264th Street.

The harvest involves flooding the fields so the berries float off the low bushes. Then workers wearing hip waders use booms to corral the berries.

A pipe sucks in berries and water, and pumps them from the field to the “trash bin” device, where leaves are filtered out before the berries tumble into a truck.

The 13-acre Glen Valley farm will produce about 300,000 pounds of cranberries this year, Colin estimated.

Like the majority of berries harvested in B.C., they’re bound for Ocean Spray processing.

But there are also some privately-harvested fields on the farm.

Harvest is the toughest time of year for the family of farmers, said Melanie. Colin is particularly busy.

“He’ll sometimes work 6 to 7 a.m., and he won’t get in until 8 p.m.,” she said.

The kids don’t see much of their dad during October, she said. The rest of the year is a lot easier.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, the Dewit farm will be selling berries and hosting harvesting demonstrations as part of the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival. Shuttle buses will take people from the festival to the Fort Winery, which is adjacent to the farm.

 

Melanie Dewit. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Colin and Melanie Dewit. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

The berries flow through a pipe from the field. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Jack Dewit supervises the removal of leaves from the berries. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Melanie Dewit. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

The Dewits have a field full of ripe cranberries. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

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