If you don’t know the history behind Cranberries, and we didn’t before our trip to DeGrandchamp Farms we learned Cranberries were first cultivated in Massachusetts. The Cranberry gets its name from Dutch and German settlers who called them “crane berries”. In springtime, blooming vines have light pink flowers with petals that twist back to resemble the head and neck of a Crane. Over time, they became known as Cranberries instead.
Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C. Because of this, they were popular with early American sailors as they helped to prevent scurvy. It is a common misconception that Cranberries grow in water. In fact, Cranberries grow in sandy bogs or marshes. But since they float, the bogs are flooded at harvest time to make collection easier. This is called a wet harvest. Wet harvest Cranberries are typically used for processed Cranberry products like juice and sauce. Cranberries sold as fresh fruit are harvested using a dry harvest method with a specialized picking machine.
For most people, the image of Cranberries brings up thoughts of Thanksgiving. Approximately twenty percent of the 400 million pounds of Cranberries harvested each year are consumed during the week of Thanksgiving. That’s over 80 million pounds of Cranberries in just one week!