By Susan Playfair

The cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, is one in all merely 3 cultivated culmination local to North the United States. the tale of this perennial vine started because the glaciers retreated approximately fifteen thousand years in the past. Centuries later, it stored local american citizens and Pilgrims alive in the course of the wintry weather months, performed a job in a diplomatic gesture to King Charles in 1677, secure sailors on board whaling ships from scurvy, fed common Grant’s males in 1864, and supplied over 1000000 kilos of sustenance in keeping with 12 months to our global conflict II doughboys. this day, it's a strong software within the struggle opposed to numerous varieties of melanoma. this is often America’s superfruit.

This booklet poses the query of ways the cranberry, and through inference different end result, will fare in a warming weather. In her try and review the consequences of weather switch, Susan Playfair interviewed growers from Massachusetts west to Oregon and from New Jersey north to Wisconsin, the cranberry’s temperature tolerance diversity. She additionally spoke with scientists learning the health and wellbeing merits of cranberries, plant geneticists mapping the cranberry genome, a plant biologist who supplied her with the 1st regression research of cranberry flowering occasions, and a migrant beekeeper attempting to work out why the bees are demise.

Taking a broader view than the opposite books on cranberries, America’s Founding Fruit offers a short historical past of cranberry cultivation and its position in our nationwide background, leads the reader in the course of the whole cultivation technique from planting via distribution, and assesses the prospective results of weather switch at the cranberry and different crops and animals. may the yankee cranberry stop starting to be within the usa? if this is the case, what will be misplaced?

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If the bog is sanded or fertilized too soon or too late, too much or too little, the yield might be high one year and low the next. Iain and his family are a special entity. They chose this way of life. Iain’s wife, Christine, is a descendant of Capt. Cyrus Cahoon, one of the families of ship captains who combined whaling and cranberry growing on Cape Cod. Captain Cahoon is credited with developing the Early Black, the heirloom variety growing at Piney Woods and here on Iain and Christine’s bogs.

The combination of iron-­rich peat swamps adjacent to sandy hills or beach dunes provided the perfect growing medium for the native berry. Following the Civil War, the wooden schooners and packet boats that had plied the coast were replaced by steam-­powered steel ships and railroads. Many of their captains and crew had been Cape Codders. They could no longer rely on fishing for their livelihood, as it was undergoing its own transformation from sail to steam, and hook to seining, both requiring fewer men.

In 1843 Eli Howes, another Cape Cod grower, transplanted a cranberry vine that produced hardy berries, matured 20 TH E F I R ST C U LTI VATO R S in October, and had a firm, waxy skin that helped protect it from frost and damage. The Howes berry, named after its original cultivator, is the heirloom variety most frequently used as breed stock in today’s high-­yield hybrids. Two other former sea captains, Alvin Cahoon and Cyrus Cahoon, began clearing land and seriously studying the best methods for cranberry cultivation.

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