Updated at 11:07,12-12-2017

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

BelarusFeed. Pictures by Radio Svaboda, Russian text by Currenttime.tv

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus
The end of September-beginning of October is the traditional time for cranberry harvesting. This small deep red berry ripens on slender creeping shrubs in bogs and wetlands.

So, before picking up the berries, people need to stock up on patience and high rubber boots. See how cranberries are harvested in Pinsk district, Brest region, Belarus.

The local cranberries plantation, founded back in 1985, is the largest in Europe, collecting between 300 to 350 tons of vitamin-rich berries a year.

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

Workers harvest cranberries at the plantation Polesskie Zhurawiny in two ways: by hand and with the help of tractors. The best and biggest berries are collected manually; tractors are used to collect small ones that will be used for making sauce, juice, jams and other produce

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

Workers are recruited from Pinsk and the surrounding villages

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

They are paid from 15 to 45 Belarusian rubles (7-20 US dollars) per day

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

This technology has been used to grow cranberries for commercial production since XIX century

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

The USA is the world’s major commercial producer of cranberries. Other big producers are Canada, Poland and Scandinavian countries; a number of cranberry farms exist in Belarus and Russia

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

Cranberries are harvested in the fall when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

A harvester is driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

Harvested cranberries float in the water and can be corralled into a corner of the bed and conveyed or pumped from the bed for further processing

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

Although most cranberries are wet-picked as described above, there are other plantations where the fruit is dry-picked. Dry-picked berries are less bruised and can be sold as fresh fruit. In dry-picking, everything happens in an exactly the opposite way: beds are drained and berries are harvested by hand

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

The biggest cranberries may reach up 1.5cm in size, but most regular fruits grow up to 1 cm

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

Berries can be fresh stored in wooden barrels filled with water for quite a long time, but usually they are destined for processing

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

Cranberry is rich in vitamin C, almost as much as oranges, lemons, grapefruit and strawberries

Red and wet! How cranberries are harvested in Belarus

In the Belarusian language cranberries are called “zhurawiny”. Linguists believe this is due to the fact the berry is much loved by cranes, called “zhurawli”