Massachusetts is the oldest cranberry-growing region in the United States. There are currently approximately 13,000 acres of commercial bogs in the state that brought in more than $60 million in 2021. Most of them are located in Barnstable, Bristol, and Plymouth counties.
Celebrating the declaration state and local officials, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux, and representatives from the Cape Cod Cranberry Grower's Association paid a visit to the Federal Furnace Cranberry Company in Carver to visit their bog and see the current harvest.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to support cranberry growers, who make significant contributions to the Commonwealth’s agricultural sector and local economies,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Our local growers are true stewards of the land, implementing the latest in proprietary technology and equipment to harvest their fruit, and utilizing innovative methods that conserve water and protect Massachusetts’ natural resources.”
“The hard-working cranberry growers of Massachusetts are honored that the Baker-Polito Administration is once again recognizing October as cranberry month in the Commonwealth,” said Brian Wick, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, serving growers from all of Massachusetts. “Despite the significant drought that impacted many of our cranberry farms this growing season, with some recent rain events, along with resourceful and innovative growers, we are excited for an expected good cranberry crop this year.”
This year's drought hasn't been easy on the industry. Dry conditions moved in earlier this year and didn't let up for months. While Massachusetts has seen some significant rounds of soaking in recent weeks, it may take another round or two of wet weather to make up for the months of drought.
Cranberries can be a very finicky crop. If there is too much water, fungus can grow on the vines and impact the beautiful red color and quality of the fruit. On the other hand, too little water and the vines shrivel up and die, and the berries may not grow to their full maturity.
“As a side dish at Thanksgiving dinner, served dried on oatmeal or salads, or enjoyed in a glass in juice form, cranberries are a mighty multi-purpose fruit with enormous health benefits,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “Autumn in Massachusetts is a special time for many reasons, but chief among them is the breathtaking scenery and imagery that takes shape across “Cranberry Country” in Southeastern Massachusetts when the harvest season is in full swing and bogs are awash in crimson. It’s absolutely fitting that we celebrate this superfruit in October.”