The harvest itself is reason to celebrate because cranberries are so indigenous, colorful and traditional; they are a constant source of pride. With the unique wet harvesting methods employed, water floods into the bogs creating quite a spectacle. As the harvest wheel knocks the cranberries off the vines they float to the surface where they’re herded into land for picking. It makes for a stunning portrait of the New England countryside.
Nothing illustrates this unique process better than the Cranberry Harvest Festival in Wareham on October 8 – 9. It’s a wonderful year to celebrate this Massachusetts tradition, especially since the cranberry yield here is forecasted at 2.10 million barrels – up 11 percent from 2010. If production live up to estimates, it would be tied for the second largest crop on record. Favorable weather conditions during June and the first half of July aided pollination and led to a robust yield this year.
Some 14,000 acres make up the wetlands of South Eastern Massachusetts, including the cranberry bogs harvested by nearly 400 cranberry growing families. Bogs also serve as a protectorate for wetland plant and animal species. Cranberries flavor our drinks and muffins daily, and are a Thanksgiving favorite. If you have a chance, try to visit one of these bogs during harvest to see where the flavor originates.
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.