BASS RIVER, N.J. — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher along with state officials and staff today visited Cutts Brothers Cranberry Farm in Bass River in Burlington County to highlight cranberry season. New Jersey is annually among the top three producers of cranberries in the U.S. according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
The visit included seeing a flooded cranberry bog, which is when the berries are harvested. The berries are then taken for processing. New Jersey farmers harvested 51.2 million pounds of cranberries on 3,100 acres last year for a production value of $15.8 million, making the Garden State the No. 3 producer in the nation.
“Cranberries have long been a staple of New Jersey agriculture with many families growing this crop for more than 100 years,” Secretary Fisher said. “The beautiful harvest we saw today is the result of a year-round process of caring for these berries. We are one of the handful of states in the country that produce a high volume of this fruit and it’s a testament to all of our cranberry growers.”
Cutts Brothers Cranberry Farm has been growing cranberries since 1906, including on the current property since the 1930s, and is operated by brothers Bill and Ernest Cutts and their sons, who are the fourth generation of the family. The farm has 29 cranberry bogs over its 128 acres. The Cutts’ farm grows traditional varieties such as the Early Blacks and Stevens as well as some newer varieties developed by Rutgers University. Cutts Brothers Cranberry Farm is one of about 25 cranberry operations in New Jersey.
“The passion for growing cranberries is a part of our family heritage,” Bill Cutts said. “To see these berries ready at harvest time is always a satisfying feeling. Like many crops, cranberries require a lot of attention throughout the year. Seeing this fruit be a part of the holiday season in many ways year after year is particularly rewarding.”
Cranberries have been known to be grown in New Jersey since the 1840s. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in sandy bogs which are flooded for wet-harvesting in the fall, then re-flooded for the duration of the winter to protect from cold weather damage. The cranberry harvest in New Jersey usually lasts through early November. About 98 percent of all cranberries harvested in New Jersey are sold to the Ocean Spray Cooperative.
Cranberries can be used in a wide range of food offerings, such as sauces, jellies, jams and in muffins, pie fillings, breads, as well as in fruit salads or can be eaten alone as snacks. The fruit is also a good source of many vitamins, including Vitamin A and Vitamin C, has important minerals such as potassium and manganese, and is high in antioxidants.
To learn more about New Jersey cranberries go to www.njcranberries.org.
To find where cranberries and cranberry products are available go to www.FindJerseyFresh.com. Stay informed about Jersey Fresh on Facebook at www.facebook.com/
–Jeff Wolfe, NJDA