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Quebec is the second-largest cranberry producing region in the world after Wisconsin, employing more than 1,700 people

A farmworker pulls cranberries to be harvested at Atocas Blandford farm in Saint-Louis-De-Blandford, Que.Photography by Bernard Brault

On a farm east of Montreal, workers wade knee-deep into a bright red sea of berries.

October is harvesting time at Atocas Blandford, one of several cranberry farms that dot the landscape in Saint-Louis-De-Blandford, Que. The region midway between Montreal and Quebec City is known as the cranberry capital of Canada. Its sandy soil is ideally suited for growing the fruit.

Quebec is the second-largest cranberry producing region in the world after Wisconsin, employing more than 1,700 people. They include hundreds of seasonal workers who come from Mexico and Central America.

At the 54-hectare Atocas Blandford, 10 migrant workers arrived from Mexico in April and are set to return home at the end of October, when the harvest is complete.

During the fall, workers flood the cranberry bogs. A machine loosens the berries, which float, from the vine, and they then drift or are nudged to one side of the bog, where workers corral them into pumps that fill waiting trucks nearby.

Photographer Bernard Brault visited Atocas Blandford in October to chronicle the annual cranberry harvest.


Cranberries are harvested from two shallow bogs at Atocas Blandford farm.

A tractor loosens the cranberries, which float, from the vine, to the surface of the shallow bog.

Worker Hugo Ortiz wades through knee-deep water coralling cranberries to then be pumped into waiting trucks nearby.

Jorge Martial is among the 10 migrant workers from Mexico who came to Atocas Blandford in April and are set to return home at the end of October, when the harvest is complete.

Cranberries are loaded into a waiting truck.

With its sandy soil, which is ideally suited for growing the fruit, Saint-Louis-De-Blandford, Que. is known as the cranberry capital of Canada.

Quebec is the second-largest cranberry producing region in the world after Wisconsin, employing more than 1,700 people.

From the left, Jorge Martial, Ever Hernandez, Atocas Blandford farm foreman Yves Martin, Joel Ceja, Bernardo Rodriguez and Hugo Ortiz surrounded by cranberries awaiting harvest.

An aerial view of the cranberries fields at the Atocas Blandford farm.

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