CRANBERRY: a small acid fruit, growing in boggy and marshy ground, largely used for making tarts, sauces, jelly, etc. Four varieties are generally recognized—the Cherry, the Olive, the Bugle and the Bell, their titles being more or less de scriptive of their shape.
The berries were first cultivated at Cape Cod, and Massachusetts is still the largest producing state. The markets also receive lhrge quantities from New Jersey and Wisconsin, and small supplies from several other states. The soil for producing them must be a marsh of muck or peat that can be drained a foot below the surface and is capable of being flooded in winter to pro tect the roots.
In the districts where they are grown extensively, the cranberry "picking season" is a bonanza to every man, woman and child. The pickers are generally paid about 75 cents a bushel. Two bushels is considered an average day's work, but experts often gather five, and sometimes seven bushels.
In Germany and some parts of the United States, the berries are gathered with a wooden comb, but the best method is to comb them off with the extended fingers. This does less injury to the fruit and to the plant.
More money has been made and more lost in the culture of cranberries than in almost any other berry. Too frequently the crop is a total failure. The cranberry worm devastates the bushes, or an early frost kills the berries..
Cranberries vary widely in price. They are at times so cheap that it is in teresting to know that if all soft berries are picked out, the remainder can be kept sound for months by putting them in jars, covering with water, setting in a cool place and occasionally replenishing the water.
Medium-sized berries are generally more solid and therefore keep better than those that are especially large. Great care should be taken in cool weather to avoid buying berries which have been bitten by frost.
The fruit of the High Bush Cranberry, or Cranberry Tree, which attains a height of eight to twelve feet, resembles the ordinary cranberry in flavor and general ance but it is smaller and contains only one seed. In spite of its similarity, it is not related to the cranberry proper, belonging instead to the same species as the old fashioned Snowball Bush.