I have heard of it and I have seen photos, but today I was finally going to #TakeThePlunge for myself.
Late summer/early fall is cranberry harvesting season and Riverside is one of the only privately own farms, (all others serve cranberry giant Ocean Spray). Not only is it nice to support local small businesses, but Riverside are the only ones to offer a dip in their bog, coupled with an educational piece, where guests get to learn more about cranberries and how they are farmed.
“The Plunge”, refers to dawning hip waiters and walking into the bog where the berries bob. This experience and sight is only available during the season, when the actual harvesting is being done. Riverside plans for this during weekends (mostly Friday and Saturdays), where they open their farm to the public.
Guests are invited down to experience the visuals of a sea of berries and the ability to be surrounded by them. You need not bringing anything with you. Paid admission included the use of their communal waiters.
You can witness and learn more about the entire farming process with their self-guided tour, and learn where cranberries come from. They don’t actually grow in water, but sprout from low lying bushes. When they are red and ripe for the harvesting, the field is submerged in water and a special machine called the beater is implemented.
During your visit, you can take a stroll around the perimeter of the field, and watch sections of it being actively harvested and cranberries being pumped off the field. There is just no guarantee of which stage of the harvest that will be happening on the date of your tour, as this is not a display or staged in anyway, but the farmer’s actual jobs and livelihoods.
Similarly, when knee deep in bog, you are asked to be mindful of the plants underfoot, you are literally traipsing on their crops, plants grown with the intention of baring fruit for harvest and income. Gentle, intentional steps are acceptable, keeping in mind the delicate nature of this ecosystem. The berries that will surround you will eventually be boxed for sale to market.
The sea of crimson makes for a that perfect photo shoot. A one-of-a-kind experience that you can check off your bucket list.
And before you leave, be sure to check out their Farm store, open Tuesday – Saturday from 12-5pm during the entire harvest season. There, you can find the same berries seen floating in their fields as is or made into their premium farm products like jellies and juices.
You will be able to take the plunge Fridays and Saturdays late September to mid October, and they are open for the long weekend. Be sure to check their website for hours and availability updates.
The Bog Riverside Cranberry Farm
26885 88 Ave, Langley, BC V1M 3L8