Business Close-Up: It?s cranberry harvest time in the Northwoods
It’s cranberry season, and for the folks at Lake Nokomis Cranberries in Eagle River, this is the time of year they welcome visitors to not only watch the harvest, but also purchase cranberries and many other goodies this farm has to offer.
Lake Nokomis Cranberries is owned by Dave Zawistowski and he purchased the farm in 1977 after working there as an employee for several years. His vision has paid off over the years and he expanded the farm’s 50 acres to 320 producing acres today.
Visitors are welcome to stop by Lake Nokomis Cranberries to watch the harvest that began last Monday, Sept. 17. Free tours are available Monday through Friday at 11 a.m., and 1 and 3 p.m., and on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m. Cranberries are an interesting crop and visitors will see a variety of farming methods when they visit the farm.
At Lake Nokomis Cranberries there are close to 70 beds in size from about 3 acres to close to 10 acres. Machinery is used to knock the berries of their vines when a bed is flooded. The berries float and then are “corralled” into a berry pump where they are conveyed into trucks and taken to a warehouse for sorting.
Visitors will also be delighted in the cranberries that are for sale here. Buyers can purchase one pound or hundreds. “We have lots of people buy big amounts to make wine,” said Mike Roth, who has worked as a machine operator for Lake Nokomis Cranberries for five years. “You can’t get them any fresher than here.”
In addition to fresh cranberries, there are also unique and interesting cranberry items for sale in the lobby area of one of the farm’s workshops. Take for instance the cranberry lotions, creams and soaps made from the extracts of cranberries and their tiny seeds. The lotions smell heavenly and the creams can be used for those suffering from eczema and dry skin.
Wine drinkers will also be delighted in the several brands of cranberry wines available here. Door County and Sturgeoon Bay are two varieties offered, and Dave has a vision of expanding his farm into a winery in the near future.
Cranberry jellies and jams are also offered, in addition to dried cranberries, chocolate covered cranberries and even cranberry themed note cards. There is a selection of cranberry honey, as well as cookbooks and an unusual cranberry salsa that is offered.
Lake Nokomis Cranberries is located at 6031 Cty. D. In Eagle River. From Rhinelander take 17 North, then left on Cty. D. Go approximately 11 miles to the farm. It is open from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the harvest.
For more information, call (715) 479-6546, or visit lakenokomiscranberries.com.