An Explanation of the Intriguing Process of Using Water to Farm Cranberries

In a previous episode of How Does It Grow from 2014, host Nicole Cotroneo Jolly visited the Lee Brothers cranberry farm in Chatsworth, New Jersey to find out how the natively American fruit grows, how it’s farmed and why water plays such a big role.

Cranberries grow on low trailing vines in something that’s called bogs. The plants are perennial meaning they survive year after year. Here the oldest vines are over 65 years old. Cranberries love this sort of sandy soil and they take a long time to grow – 16 months. You can seee here that while the berries are ripening, the buds for next year’s crop are already growing on the vine. …So if the cranberries grow on dry land well, what is all this water for? Twice a year the farmers flood the bogs. First in December for the duration of winter. This is when the plants go dormant and their blanket of water insulates the vines from harsh winter frost. In the spring the bogs are drained and the cranberry’s pink flowers bloom