Wisconsin: Home of Half the World's Cranberries
Here in America’s Dairyland, we are known for agriculture. But, did you know that Wisconsin also leads the nation in the production of cranberries?
Cranberries are native to Wisconsin and the first cultivated Wisconsin cranberry marshes date back to the 1830s before Wisconsin was even a state! Cranberry growing is a family business, with many fifth- and even sixth-generation Wisconsin growers. More than half the entire world’s supply of cranberries are grown on Wisconsin family farms, generating $1 billion in state economic impact and providing thousands of local jobs. The cranberry has been Wisconsin’s state fruit since 2004 and Wisconsin farmers produced 4.6 million barrels of cranberries in 2020. This year, 2021, marks the 27th consecutive year that Wisconsin has led the nation in cranberry production.
Cranberries received their name from European settlers who called them ‘crane berries’ after noticing that the flower resembled the head of the Sandhill Crane. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. Cranberries are a perennial plant and grow on vines in sandy bogs and marshes. Marshes are flooded with water to aid in harvesting. Because the tart, tiny berries contain a pocket of air, the berries float to the surface to be picked up by harvesting equipment when the marsh is flooded. Cranberries are harvested each year from late September through October.
Wisconsin cranberries are an awesome choice because they are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Plus, when you bring home Wisconsin cranberries, you are supporting Wisconsin farmers!
Cranberries can be enjoyed dried, juiced, baked, and more. I’ll never say no to a new cranberry cake, trail mix, or even cheese! Try my family's favorites Cranberry Cake! Perfect for cranberry season and holiday gifting.
Learn more and find recipes on the Wisconsin Cranberries website http://www.wiscran.org/
Also, mark your calendar for the Warrens Cranberry Festival from Friday, September 24 through Sunday, September 26. https://www.cranfest.com/