The Wetherby Cranberry Company is holding its annual Public Harvest Day on Saturday, Oct. 6. From 9 a.m. to noon, visitors can watch cranberries being harvested and also tour the Wetherby cranberry warehouse, where cranberries marketed as fresh fruit are sorted and bagged.
Owned by Jim and Nodji Van Wychen, the Wetherby marsh was started in 1903. While the Van Wychens have modern-day computerized cranberry sorting equipment, they still also use cranberry mills or “bounce machines” that Mrs. Van Wychen’s grandfather installed in the 1920s.
The Van Wychens market about one-third of their cranberries as fresh fruit that are harvested with raking machines, while the rest are harvested with water-reel machines for use in processed products, like juice and sauce. Mr. Van Wychen also uses some cranberries to make cranberry wine in his small-scale winery.
The Wetherby Cranberry Company Public Harvest Day is held rain or shine. Reservations are not required. The Wetherby marsh is 4.5 miles east of Warrens on county Highway EW. Fresh cranberries and cranberry wine will be available for purchase.
That same weekend (Oct. 5-7), The Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in downtown Warrens is offering cranberry wine tasting, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center will also have gourmet cranberry food products and assorted cranberry juice blends available for sampling.
Housed in a historic cranberry warehouse, the Cranberry Discovery Center features an interactive exhibit hall, old-fashioned ice cream parlor, in-house bakery and a gift shop stocked with a variety of Wisconsin-made cranberry products.
For more information about the Wetherby Cranberry Company Public Harvest Day, call (608) 378-4813. To learn more about the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, call (608) 378-4878.