Fall - L'automne Learning French outdoors Learning French through science

Learning French: The cranberry harvest

learning french at the cranberry farm

Have you ever visited a cranberry farm? Since Thanksgiving is coming up, we decided to take our girls to a local cranberry bog to discover how these berries are grown. We loved the experience and were blown away by the sight of bright red berries floating on the flooded fields.

learning french - cranberry harvest

What are cranberries in French? A cranberry is une canneberge in French.

Here are a few things our preschooler learned during our visit:

In the wild, cranberries grow in bogs.

Bog – la tourbière

Cranberries are harvested in the fall, typically between mid-September and late October.

Harvest – la récolte

Fall – l’automne

The fields are flooded with water.

Field – le champ

To flood – inonder

Once the plants are covered with water, a beater loosens the berries from the vines.

Beater – la batteuse

Vine – la vigne

The cranberries then float to the surface.

To float – flotter

Farmers then use booms that float to corral the cranberries.

Floating boom – le boudin flottant

The cranberries are then pumped out of the field, into a truck.

To pump – pomper

Truck – le camion

Why do cranberries float?

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A fun scientific experiment to do with your child is to provide them with a bowl of water and a cup of fresh cranberries. Ask them if they think that the cranberries will float or sink. Then, invite them to find out for themselves. They can drop one cranberry at a time or pour the whole cup into the water.

Related: Learning French through science

So now, why do cranberries float in water? Cranberries have pockets of air inside that enable them to float.

Cut up a few cranberries and show your child what the fruit looks like on the inside.

What do fresh cranberries taste like?

If your petit chou hasn’t tasted a fresh cranberry, ask them what they think it will taste like. Since it’s a berry, they may think it will be sweet. They may be surprised to find out that fresh cranberries have a tangy, tart flavour.

Tangy taste – le goût acidulé

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