America's Founding Fruit: The Cranberry in a New Environment by Susan Playfair

By Susan Playfair

The cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, is considered one of simply 3 cultivated culmination local to North the USA. the tale of this perennial vine all started because the glaciers retreated approximately fifteen thousand years in the past. Centuries later, it saved local american citizens and Pilgrims alive throughout the iciness months, performed a job in a diplomatic gesture to King Charles in 1677, secure sailors on board whaling ships from scurvy, fed normal Grant’s males in 1864, and supplied over one million kilos of sustenance in step with yr to our global conflict II doughboys. at the present time, it's a strong software within the struggle opposed to a number of different types of melanoma. this is often America’s superfruit.

This booklet poses the query of the way the cranberry, and by means of inference different culmination, will fare in a warming weather. In her try and review the results of weather switch, Susan Playfair interviewed growers from Massachusetts west to Oregon and from New Jersey north to Wisconsin, the cranberry’s temperature tolerance diversity. She additionally spoke with scientists learning the future health merits of cranberries, plant geneticists mapping the cranberry genome, a plant biologist who supplied her with the 1st regression research of cranberry flowering instances, and a migrant beekeeper attempting to determine why the bees are death.

Taking a broader view than the opposite books on cranberries, America’s Founding Fruit offers a short heritage of cranberry cultivation and its position in our nationwide historical past, leads the reader during the complete cultivation procedure from planting via distribution, and assesses the potential results of weather switch at the cranberry and different crops and animals. might the yankee cranberry stop growing to be within the usa? if this is the case, what will be misplaced?

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Whenever possible, they built dikes and dams with removable boards that could be lifted to allow water to flow over the bog to protect the vines. Today’s bogs don’t look that different. They are still surrounded and bisected by lines of 42 I R R I G ATI O N water. The difference is that they are now also dotted with sprinklers, some basic, some hooked up to computerized monitoring systems. Clusters of white petals with pink stamens and oval leaves dot the shad bushes at the edge of Iain Ward’s nine acres of bogs in Lakeville, Massachusetts.

When a spring frost wiped out his Massachusetts crop, he headed back to the Oregon coast. There he noted that the growing conditions in Coos Bay, at latitude forty-­ one degrees, weren’t too different from the growing conditions in Carver, Massachusetts, at latitude forty-­two degrees. The main difference was a longer growing season. He sent a letter to his brother asking him to send some McFarlin cuttings west. After some experimentation with planting methods, the variety took, and is still harvested today in Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.

If they couldn’t afford to build their own family bogs, or didn’t own land where the berry would flourish, they formed joint-­venture partnerships with relatives or friends where they would contribute what they could afford, either in labor, land, or funds. Charles Nordhoff, writing in 1868, described the process: Enoch Doane read about the cranberry swamps in his agricultural paper, saw that the berries were in good demand in the Boston market, made a careful calculation overnight, and next morning rode out and bought a dozen acres of the worst-­looking swampland in the neighborhood of Harwich.

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