Forget about leaf peeping. If you haven’t visited a flooded cranberry bog during the harvest, you’ve been missing one of New Jersey’s most captivating sights — a chiaroscuro of coral, carmine and crimson as the berries are vacuumed from the water on the first part of their journey to a Thanksgiving table near you.
The Garden State is the No. 3 producer of cranberries in the nation. In 2018, New Jersey farmers gathered 51.2 million pounds of them on 3,100 acres for a value of $15.8 million.
Cranberries have been grown here since the 1840s. They grow on low-lying vines in sandy bogs that are flooded for wet-harvesting in the fall, then reflooded for the winter to protect the vines from cold-weather damage. The harvest in New Jersey usually lasts through early November. About 98% of all cranberries harvested in the state are sold to the Ocean Spray Cooperative.
Solo snacks, sauces, jellies, jams, muffin fillings, pie fillings, bread boosters, fruit salad ingredients — cranberries do it all. And jam on this: The fruit is also a good source of vitamins A and C, has important minerals such as potassium and manganese, and is high in antioxidants.
Follow this link to learn more about New Jersey cranberries.