Q:

How high must a cranberry bounce before it is harvested?

A:

Quick Answer

Cranberries bounce over a 4-inch-high board when harvested, according to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. Firm berries bounce, while the softer, overripe berries drop to the bottom of the sorter and are discarded.

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Full Answer

Nantucket’s cranberries can be either wet or dry harvested. Each is processed in three steps. The cranberries are washed and blasted with a stream of air to get rid of leaves and other debris. A Bailey Separator then sorts them by dropping the berries through a series of seven compartments. At each level they may either bounce over the board into one side of the machine or drop down to the next level. The wet-harvested berries go to a frozen storage facility where they are held for processing, while dry-harvested cranberries are inspected, immediately bagged and sent to market.

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