MANITOWISH WATERS - The state fruit of Wisconsin is ready for harvest. This year 4.5 million barrels of cranberries will come from Wisconsin marshes- That's almost 60% of the nation’s crop.
Today we got a behind-the-bog look at one family’s tradition in growing cranberries.
"My great grandfather first started with just a few acres. He came up here with no machinery, along with a few other growers in the area and started planting cranberries, and it's just evolved into what we have today."
Now the Bartling family produces nearly 42,000 barrels of cranberries each year. Picking them by hand would be painstaking, but Wisconsin's lakes allow for an easier harvest- By flooding the beds.
After the berries are ripe, each 4-acre recessed “bed” is filled with water. Machines shake the fruit from the vines, and the float on the water to be skimmed off.
“We don't use water, we borrow water, because it's all returned eventually back to the resevior," said 4th generation cranberry grower Steven Bartling. “We'll reuse that water over and over and over and eventually, it'll seep back into the lake.”
Over the years the Bartlings have gotten cranberry harvesting down to a science- From an intricate pattern for skimming the fruit off the water, to high tech sensors that monitor the soil and temperature.
Even this year's early spring couldn't throw them off. In fact, the longer season made their fruit better.
"We got a better sugar content developed in the berry,” said Bartling, “Which is actually what the color red is, it’s the sugar."
Today was the first full day of harvest for the deep crimson colored berries. Harvest typically starts October 1st, and lasts 3 weeks.
Diehard Bears fan trades in his orange and blue for green and gold
ST. GERMAIN - We all love our favorite sports teams. But what would happen if you had to dress up in your rival's gear? That's exactly what happened to Bears fan, Jerry Healy.
He's the janitor at St. Germain Elementary School. Healy challenged the students to raise over $700 for charity. If they did he'd wear the green and gold.
“Mr Healy you're unbelievable thank you for doing this,” says Jerry Healy, St. Germain Elementary School Janitor. “One kid said, "all this is disgusting Mr. Healy,” and another little kid who's a diehard Packers fan came up he came up and he's got an orange and blue pair of pants on and goes I'm a bears fan, today you're a packer fan, and that was pretty cool he's in second grade.”
As you can see the students surpassed the goal. The money went to pennies for patients. It’s an organization that supports people diagnosed with leukemia. The challenge brought the whole school together.
“Well I think they rose to the occasion they understood they're helping others in an easy but fun way. They came together as a class, as a whole school and just had a lot of fun with it,” says Jeff Waltz, a third grade teacher at St. Germain Elementary School.
This wasn't the first time Jerry got to dress up as a Packers fan. He did the same thing a few years ago when students accomplished a reading goal.
Students celebrate International Day in the Northwoods
WOODRUFF - The Olympics might be over, but the Paralympics are underway in Sochi. Teachers at one local school are using the Olympic spirit to teach students about other countries.
Students at North Country Montessori celebrated International Day Friday morning. The students learn about different countries throughout the school year.
"The children at Montessori do a huge unit on geography and world culture, and we used today as a way to express the information that we found and things that we've learned," says North Country Montessori director Candice Henderson.
This year's theme was the Sochi Olympics.
Each student dressed up as a different country and sang songs in Russian.
This was the school's 30th annual International Day celebration. It ended with a potluck meal featuring ethnic food from different countries.
VILAS COUNTY - More people today use maps on their phones when traveling, but some people still like those paper maps.
The Vilas County GIS just made 15 maps of the area. They give people the option to download and print them at home. A map of Boulder Junction even won an award at the 27th annual Wisconsin land Information Association conference in Middleton.
“There was a lot of interest in creating a portable, easy to use map atlas that responders, town crew, delivery entities, could take out in the field with them and find any address point any road name any water body,” says Rebecca Nordine, Vilas County GIS Specialist. “Something that they could bring out along out in the field with them.”
The atlases will give people an easier way of looking up addresses across Vilas County.
“We do offer up online mapping and that's great but if you get into an area where there's no cell phone or no internet service you'll need something a map or paper map to fall back on,” says Nordine.
Each atlas will be updated at the beginning of the year.
To download a copy of the atlases for FREE you can visit: http://vcgis.co.vilas.wi.us/vcom/.
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. Rockfleet Broadcasting / Northland Television, Inc. and By Request Web Designs shall not be held responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints.