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The Cranberry

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Date: November 12, 2020
Agent: Donna Teasley
Hello, this is Donna Teasley, Horticulture Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center.

With Thanksgiving almost here, I think this is a good time to talk about the real all-American fruit-the cranberry. Did you know that the cranberry is one of only three truly native fruits in North America? The others are grape and blueberry.

Cranberries can be grown in many parts of the country including western North Carolina. Although we think of New England when we think of cranberries, over 50 percent of the cranberries grown in this country come from Wisconsin. Most folks also think that cranberries grow in water. Not true. They grow in beds layered with peat, sand and clay. The fruits can be harvested in water because they float and about 90 percent of the crop is harvested by flooding the beds and combing the berries off in to the water. Harvesting takes place between October and December. Berries can be tested for ripeness by bouncing them. Ripe cranberries do bounce-try it! Another little known fact about the cranberry is that it is actually a vine not a plant. These vines can live for years. There are vines on Cape Cod that are 150 years old.

Well, there you have it. Did you ever think there was that much to know about the cranberry? I hope you’ll think about what you’ve just learned as you enjoy your turkey and dressing along with this very American little berry.

This is Donna Teasley with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. If you would like more information about this program you can give us a call at 764-9480.