A vivid childhood memory I have is of digging through bins of old ice skates for a pair that fits, getting bundled up, and driving to a nearby cranberry bog to ice skate on the frozen surface. Skating on cranberry bogs is a lot safer than skating on ponds because the water isn’t very deep.
Cranberry bogs are flooded in the winter to protect the cranberry plants from extreme cold. Even a thick layer of ice will rarely reach the water closest to the plants. Here are a couple activities that keep cranberry growers busy in the winter…
- Sanding the bogs which has several beneficial effects for the cranberry plants including stimulating growth, improving drainage, and protecting against weeds, insects, and fungi (check out the video below).
- Because there are fewer than 1000 cranberry growers in North America there is not a big enough demand for commerically manufactured equiptment so growers spend the winters designing, building, and maintaining equipment.
For more info visit: Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association
This video explains the sanding process over ice on Nantucket bogs and how sand’s benefits were discovered…
The following is a list of health benefits associated with cranberries (especially raw whole berries)
- Cranberries can help prevent and treat UTI’s and stomach ulcers. They have properties that block bacteria from attaching lining of stomach and urinary tract.
- They have nutrients and mechanisms which have cancer preventing benefits
- They have antinflammatory benefits for the cardiovascular system, oral health, and digestive tract
- They contain antioxidants which combat cell damaging free radicals in our environment
- Cranberries can help lower the bad cholesterol and increase the good
- Small studies have shown cranberries can boost your immune system making you less susceptible to colds and other illness
Considering all the health benefits of cranberries how about adding some to your salsa for your Superbowl party! Here is a recipe for cranberry salsa. I just made it today and it is so yummy!!! I used dried cranberries which are sweetened but if you are able to get a hold of fresh or even frozen add about a half cup of sugar per 12 ounces of berries (cranberries are not naturally sweet).
- 2 large tomatoes chopped
- 1 large bell pepper chopped
- juice of one lime
- half a 9.5 ounce container of sweetened dried cranberries
- 4 chili peppers chopped with seeds removed
- half a bunch of cilantro chopped
- one bunch of green onions chopped
Directions: Combine about half of the ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add remaining half of ingredients and blend until your desired chunkiness. Put half in a bowl for serving right away and half in a jar and refrigerate for another time. Serve with corn chips.
It is also great on turkey sandwiches!