In Massachusetts, the first cranberry harvest took place in 1816. Massachusetts has since become one of the key producers, with 35% of overall cranberry production worldwide. That’s pretty impressive, especially when you consider that 70% of our state’s producers are small family farms that cultivate less than 8 hectares. We are proud of our heritage. In fact, the cranberry – both the fruit and its colour – has become the official emblem of our state, while cranberry juice is our official drink.
The Kravitz family. The family is from Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Second generation.
We are relatively new to the cranberry sector but we have been doing it long enough to know that it is a great activity for the family. My parents live at one of our cranberry bogs, which I farm with my father and the rest of the family. I can enjoy so many special moments with them, which I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t have this job. Our three daughters are there at the weekends. They learn the basics of cultivating the land and know where quality food comes from. And, like me, they love cranberries!
The Gilmore family. The family is from South Carver, Massachusetts. Fifth generation.
Everything started with my great-great-grandfather, A.D Makepeace. After 50 years with cranberries, his sons took over the operation and teamed up with two other families to establish Ocean Spray. I grew up at a cranberry bog and I even married a cranberry cultivator. Cranberries are in our blood. Today, my husband and I pass on the legacy ourselves by naming each of our cranberry bogs after a member of the family. Our newest bog was christened nine months ago after the birth of our first granddaughter, Charlotte, the seventh generation of Makepeaces.
The Garretson family. The family is from South Carver, Massachusetts. Fourth generation.
This farm is sacred to me. It’s important to note that my vines were planted at the beginning of the century. This is why I treat them with utmost respect and care, and I don’t spare any efforts to harvest a quality product. Sometimes I go out and lie down near to the vines and listen to them talk – they tell me what they need. I know it sounds a bit strange. But if I didn’t work in harmony with nature, I wouldn’t be able to do it. Thankfully, both nature and I are very demanding.
The Beaton family. The family is from Wareham, Massachusetts. Fourth generation.
Before starting with cranberries, my great-great-grandfather farmed potatoes and lived off the land. That has always been the way in my family. Being at one with the land, living in contact with nature and doing something that we enjoy. For me, that is cultivating cranberries. Every day is different: getting up early to protect the cranberries from the spring frosts, flooding the bogs for the harvest, talking with the team. My profession is cultivating cranberries. And I’m proud of it.