ALL ABOUT CRANBERRIES: AN AMERICAN NATIVE PLANT
CRANBERRY TRIVIA AND GROWING TIPS By The Editors
5 FACTS ABOUT CRANBERRIES
By November, all of the cranberry crop will have been harvested. They are grown in bogs in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Washington, New Jersey, Oregon and Canada. They will be bagged for fresh or for juice or canned sauce.
This cranberry is a true American native plant. It is a member of the heath family, and a relative to the blueberry and huckleberry.
The Pequot Native Americans of Cape Cod called the berry ibimi, meaning “bitter berry,” and combined crushed cranberries with dried venison and fat to make a winter superfood called pemmican. The Pilgrims and those who followed appreciated the wild berries but did not start to cultivate them until 1816, when a bog was planted and tended in the town of Dennis on Cape Cod. By then, American and Canadian sailors on long voyages knew they could eat cranberries to protect themselves from scurvy—making them a cranberry counterpart to British “limeys.”
The cranberry is a native superfood and is good for you! They’re packed with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant compounds. See more about cranberry’s natural health benefits. OK, this isn’t a fun fact, but cranberries taste great! They add a unique burst of tart flavor to any dish—as well as glorious color. Here’s a delicious Cranberry Dream Pie that you can make ahead and stick in the freezer.
A bog can be quickly flooded when freezing weather is predicted, thus sparing the submerged blossoms and berries from spring and fall frosts. Cranberries are grown in bogs because these are constructed to protect the fruit:
You can grow them in your home garden. Which is something I never knew. So you want to grow them in your garden here is how. A little work to make them grow but it would be interesting to do. For best results, cranberries should be grown in full sun in a 50–50 mix of garden soil and peat moss (for acidity and drainage). If your soil is sandy, remove the top 8 inches and line the bottom of the bed with a sheet of 6-mil plastic. Poke plenty of drainage holes in the plastic and then fill the bed with the soil mix. Scratch in ½ pound of 10-20-10 fertilizer and you are ready to plant.
The cranberry a North American native, is a member of the heath family and a relative of the blueberry and huckleberry. It is a low-growing evergreen, hardy to Zone 2, that sends out runners much like strawberries do. Each runner may grow up to 3 feet long and send up numerous uprights that bear thumbnail-size fruit. Cranberries are best planted in late April through the end of May. Six 3-year-old plants spaced evenly throughout the bed will grow together to form a thick mat and should produce during the first season. A light mulch of sawdust or sand will help to root the runners. Water the new planting every day for 2 weeks and then as you would the rest of your garden. Flower buds open from late May to June and produce ripe fruit in late September to early October. Fun to grow and easy to care for, cranberries are one crop that shouldn’t bog down any gardener.
Information taken from https://www.almanac.com/all-about-cranberries-american-native
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa email@example.com 641-794-3337 cell 641-903-9365