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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cranberries in My City

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Many people associate cranberry growing with the north eastern states. While they DO grow cranberries, Wisconsin grows more!

In fact, Wisconsin produces 30% of the world's cranberries and over half of the cranberries in the United States.

My city is located smack dab in the middle (is the county seat in fact) of a cranberry growing county.


If you look at this graphic from The Wisconsin State Cranberry Grower's Association web page, you will find Wood County, my county, right in the middle of the state. You will see that it is Raspberry PINK because we raise the MOST cranberries of any Wisconsin county.

Some people have no idea how cranberries grow, and we are NOT above going into lengthy detailed descriptions of the huge trees in the cranberry orchards. OF COURSE we keep our fingers crossed the whole time.


In reality the cranberry plant is a relatively low growing plant. They grow in long, usually rectangular, low areas called bogs or marshes. Each bog is separated from the surrounding bogs by raised access road topped banks.


During the growing season, these bogs are not as easily visible as the plants are green. But in the fall, after harvest, and during the winter (if they aren't snow covered) they are a deep maroon.


Cranberry growing requires a lot of water, so bogs are most frequently found in areas where plenty of water is available. This natural marshy area is directly across the highway from the cranberry bogs shown above.

Water is important to cranberry growing for more than just to water the plants. Whenever frost threatens, sprayers are turned on which cover the plants and berries with water to keep them from freezing and being damaged. Many is the night that cranberry growers are up all night keeping the berries safe.


One cranberry harvest method involves completely flooding the bogs. The cranberries are then removed from their stems and float to the surface of the water so they can be corralled and scooped up.




These currently popular Ocean Spray commercials were filmed during cranberry harvest.

And that, my friends, is the tale of cranberries in my City.


Thanks to Unknown Mami for hosting
"Sundays in My City"
To which I am linking this post.


Photo Credit: Cranberry Harvest by Keith Weller

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20 comments:

Ocean Girl said...

That is a lot of cranberries!

Matty said...

I knew that cranberries required a lot of water, but I didn't know that Wisconsin produced THAT many. And how clever that your county is shown in that color. I remember that commercial too.

OHN said...

Hi---I popped over from Mami. I had NO idea that WI was a cranberry state...I was thinking cheese ;-) Now, please don't tell me you put cheese on your cranberries....I may not come back--:-)

blogitse said...

wow, that is a LOT of cranberries! They are really healthy. We have them in Finland too but I don't know if they are planted like that nor that they are floating like that - very interesting!

You're right about the weather. We enjoy four seasons fully! :)

Laurie Matherne said...

I never knew Wisconsin had that kind of harvest of CRANBERRIES. I could have used some this week. Infection down below. And I live farrr south of the US where cranberries are not to be found. Happy Easter.

Unknown Mami said...

Before this post, all I knew about cranberries had come from those commercials.

Kristin - The Goat said...

I had absolutely no idea that cranberries were grown in WI. Totally cool!! I'll never forget it now :)

Pam @ The Journey Leads Home said...

I'm visiting from SIMC and would like to thank you for the cranberry lesson. I really did find it quite interesting. I would love to drive by a cranberry bog/marsh and see the beautiful red in all their glory!

Shanthi said...

WOW tons of them. Lovely post and thanks for sharing.

Nessa said...

how neat! I love cranberries!

Lynn said...

Does that dumb guy in the cranberry commercials live in your town?

So. Snow is the new S word, huh?

Sonya said...

WOOOOWWWW!! that is so cool! I would love to see something like this close up. All those wonderful red cranberries :) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Have a wonderful week : )

May said...

That pic of so many cranberries!!! Beautiful...:) I think I would be jumping with glee if I spotted so many of them at one go...:D

Ann in the UP said...

I live close by, and had no idea that WI produces 30% of the world's cranberries! That "bog"gles my mind!

CRY said...

I enjoyed reading that so much.
The first thing I thought about was the cranberry commercial!
I dont quiteunderstand how they keep them from freezing?
If I lived there I would work with the cranberry farmers, I bet its hard work though.

Kim said...

Wow! Love that last image of all the cranberries!!

myrelish said...

Thank you for all the cranberries - I love them but until now I knew nothing about them other than what is on the commercials.

Janet, said...

How interesting! I love those cranberry commercials.

clearness said...

This is the coolest thing ever. Thanks for sharing!

traci's mixed bag said...

So cool to now know. Especially since I'm a big cranberry fan. I love those commercials.