It's a Thanksgiving staple and it's grown right here in Southern New England. Cranberries are a big business here and this year's harvest is in full swing. Cranberries produced this year could be one of the highest yields in Massachusetts history.
A.D. Makepeace Company in Wareham is a cranberry supplier for Ocean Spray. Some of their bogs have been around for over a century. They began harvesting at the beginning of September and will continue through Veteran's Day. Different bogs on the land are in different stages of the harvest process. Linda Burke, Vice President of Marketing says, "That's a misconception that people have that the cranberry vine grows under water and it doesn't, the vine itself as we say it doesn't like to get it's feet wet, so the bog is dry until we harvest or protect from winter frost."
Southeastern Massachusetts is an ideal location for cranberry vines to grow, that's why the state is the second largest in cranberry production. Burke goes on, "Sandy soils are ideal for growing cranberries but we do also require some cool fall nights to make the berries color."
Cranberries are actually measured in barrels, one barrel equals 100 pounds of cranberries. There are 44,000 cranberries in one barrel. Last year A.D. Makepeace harvested 335,000 barrels and this year they are hoping for more.
This coming weekend is the tenth annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration at Makepeace Farm. 30,000 people are expected to get up close and personal with the cranberry harvesting process along with lots of fun family activities. You can find more information on their website: http://admakepeace.com/makepeace_farms/farm_stand