Exploring Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs!

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What is this tiny berry, this most curious bright red number that grows so well in southeastern Massachusetts?

scenic cranberry bog

Cranberry harvest via MOTT

It is the wonderful and delectable cranberry and, in the autumn months, it is celebrated with great fervor in towns like Carver, Wareham, and Acushnet. The time to celebrate the cranberry harvest is fleeting, and to miss out on such an event is to miss a key part of what makes the Bay State truly unique.

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Cranberry sorting via MOTT

The curious traveler will want to first make a pilgrimage over to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association website, which is the first stop for learning about the cultivation of the cranberry, sustainable harvesting practices, and of course, where and when one can visit one of the cranberry bogs.

Visitors will find that many growers offer a range of visiting times and activities, such as bog tours, and the opportunity to purchase a range of products derived from this important crop.

One of the key events of the season is the Cranberry Harvest Celebration in Wareham, MA, which is sponsored by the A.D. Makepeace Company, and takes place on October 12 and 13 (this weekend!) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The Harvest Celebration was also recently noted as being one of the top 100 events in North America, and was named one of six top fall food festivals in Yankee Magazine. Visitors can expect to find dozens of vendors, paddleboat rides on Tihonet Pond, and musical acts. Admission is $10, $5 for seniors, and children under 7 are admitted free.

Travelers would also do well to stop by Flax Pond Farms in Carver, MA, where Jack and Dot Angley have harvested the bogs for decades, and their attentive staff is available to regale the curious visitor with tales of their harvesting methods, tales of cranberry lore, and also give them an opportunity to try their hand at cranberry sorting.

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Scenes of Flax Pond Farms in Carver, MA

A visit to the cranberry bogs is a wonderful way to spend a fall weekend, and let me close with this complementary haiku as a form of tribute to Massachusetts’ most valuable agricultural commodity:

Bright red, green surrounds

Fall has come, what will you bring?

Harvest begins now

For more information on visiting Massachusetts’ cranberry bogs, click here.

Max Grinnell is a writer based in Cambridge, MA, who writes about cities, public art, geography, travel, and anything else that strikes his fancy. His writings can be found online at www.theurbanologist.com and he tweets over @theurbanologist.