The Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation, was established in 1922, almost one hundred years ago, in Long Beach. Their goals, per their website are to fund cranberry research, maintain cranberry farms, produce cranberries on site to fund research & extension activities, and to provide an educational facility.
Growing and Harvesting
Autumn is the harvest time for these small, red and delicious treats! Between September and November, farms across America are collecting their bounty. But how are they grown?
Cranberries are grown in bogs, which are “soft, marshy ground with acid peat soil, usually near wetlands, where the cranberries grown on long-running vines.” So, contrary to popular belief, they aren’t grown underwater- as we are used to seeing them. The night before the big harvest, the bogs are flooded with water- up to eighteen inches! Why you ask? Well- this is how farmers and harvesters get the cranberries off of the vines, by stirring them in the water while churning. And according to the Ocean Spray website, “each berry has a tiny pocket of air that allows it to float to the surface of the water.”
Cool Info: Native Americans have been using cranberries, since long before the pilgrims arrived, to keep their deer meat from going rancid.
The Cranberry Museum
Open daily from April 1st to December 15th, from 10AM-5PM, guests can enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum. You can learn more about the different “varieties of cranberries, irrigation systems, and how crops are planted and cultivated.” That last part we already know about now, but how great would it be to see it firsthand?
If you’re interested in going in a group, make sure to contact them to arrange a tour!
Maybe you’re skeptical, how do you know these guys know what they are talking about? It’s alright- we here at Explore Washington State understand. So how about some history of the museum?
The Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation, (what a mouthful), was originally formed to purchase the Cranberry Research Station, which was owned and operated by WSU (Washington State University). But back in 1992, the station was closed down. Which is when cranberry farmers formed the Foundation, bought the station and 40 acres of farmland.
They are still supported by WSU. Working with the Foundation and museum is a PH. D., horticulturist, Kim Patten, who works as the station managers, extension specialist and agricultural researcher. “There is also a research technician, scientists, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students.”
If you’re interested in more information, head over to their website to find out more information about upcoming events, recipes, and about their gift shop!
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