BANDON — Visit a working cranberry farm Cranberry Festival weekend in Bandon. Bowman Bogs will be open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 11, 12 and 13. Tour the bogs and sample products at the farm stand, 6 miles south of Bandon at 87303 McTimmons Lane.
Farmer Dennis Bowman knows berries. The Bowman family has lived on the southern Oregon coast for five generations. And Dennis Bowman has managed cranberry production for more than 30 years, including 11 years co-managing Cape Blanco Cranberries. He purchased the McTimmons farm in 2003, where he has rehabilitated and introduced new vines to his 10 fields.
"It's a small, working farm with woods all around," Bowman said. "There will be equipment, and (visitors) will see the berries are ripening right now."
Bowman and his mother, Roberta Bowman, will lead tours, talk about the farm and answer questions about everything cranberry.
The farm stand features berries for sale, cranberry concentrate and Grandpa Jack's Cranberry Syrup.
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Bowman has been producing the concentrate for 20 years and introduced Grandpa Jack's to customers last year. In addition to the McTimmons farm, Bowman also grows cranberries in Port Orford, near Cape Blanco. Each year, he devotes 300 to 400 pounds of cranberries to his concentrate — one 12-ounce bottle packs the concentrated punch of 20 pounds worth of berries.
It's a versatile product, with the deep jewel-toned hue that distinguishes Oregon coast cranberries from berries grown in other states. For years, Bowman's friends and neighbors have enjoyed the unsweetened concentrate as a healthy addition to their diets in baked goods, sauces and juice mixes.
"They can add their own sweeteners to it and make it how they like it," Bowman said.
Grandpa Jack's syrup comes pre-sweetened and ready to pour over pancakes or ice cream, or as a marinade.
Want to see the beaters and harvesters in action? Guests are welcome back at the farm to watch the harvest 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 to Oct. 9.