It’s the busiest time of year at Lake Nokomis Cranberries and the friendly folks who work here are inviting everyone out to enjoy the harvest.
“The crop looks good this year,” said Mike O’Brien, manager of Lake Nokomis Cranberries. “The berries are a little late coloring up but the numbers are good.”
There is a lot to see at this interesting business. In fact, visitors can get a close up view of the farm if they sign on to one of the guided tours that are given Monday through Saturday. There is a 20 person tour bus that travels around the marsh while the harvest is taking place. Participants will see flooded beds where the red berries are being corralled for transportation from the marsh; newly planted beds; and the dikes and canals where water flows in and out of the bogs.
Visitors will also get a chance to watch the cranberries being unloaded, sorted and cleaned before they are shipped away for processing. “Visitors get to see every step of the operation from floating berries, to pickers to the plants with the berries still attached,” said Mike.
As of this week, about one third of the crop has already been harvested, but the work will continue well into October. Tours depart Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. and on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
After the tour everyone is invited to check out the gift shop which features everything cranberry. There is a wide selection of cranberry wines from across the state; an alluring array of cranberry lotions, creams and soaps; cranberry grilling sauce, mustard and chutney; T-shirts and hats; candles and much more. In addition, cranberries fresh from the marsh are also for sale in 3, 5, 10 and 20 pound packages for a $1 a pound.
Many times there are samples available in the gift shop including different wines and visitors will enjoy trying such interesting condiments as the cranberry mustard and chutney on pretzels.
“It’s really interesting to watch the cranberry harvest,” said Mike. “It’s a great way to enjoy the fall season.”
Lake Nokomis Cranberries is located at 6031 Cty. D in Eagle River. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sat. and Sun. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information check out the website at lakenokomiscranberries.com and visit their Facebook page at Lake Nokomis Cranberries. The phone number is 715-479-6546.