What it takes to grow those cranberries your serving this Thanksgiving

Nov 17, 2014

Listen to Tom's story here.

Wisconsin—the Cranberry Capital of the World For many of us, our first introduction to cranberries as kids was at Thanksgiving Dinner when a red gelatinous mass of cranberry-something was extruded from a tin can and neatly sliced into thin saucer shaped discs--served as an obligatory side dish right next to the mystery-relish. As a grown up, correspondent, Tom Wilmer eventually discovered Craisins and packets of tasty fresh dried cranberries at Trader Joes.   

Credit Tom Wilmer

Wilmer reports from the heartland of Wisconsin in the midst of the Glacial Lakes District, with waders up to his chest, learning way more than he ever imagined possible about the bright red, tangy, and tasty cranberry. The cranberry is Wisconsin’s official state fruit. And the state is America’s number one Cranberry producer, supplying more than 60 percent of the annual harvest, producing a billion dollars in economic impact and generating more than 5,000 jobs. Wilmer also learned that Ocean Spray Cranberry is not a faceless, mega-agri-corporation but a co-operative of family farmers. Even more eye opening was discovering the cranberry’s incredible array of health benefits, including heavyweight anti-oxidants, along with bacteria blocking anti-adhesion properties that work to alleviate urinary tract infections, ulcers, gum disease, and more.

Wilmer visits with Mike Moss, 3rd generation owner of the family run Elm Lake Cranberry Company; The Brown family that leads farm-tours aboard their 24-passenger Berry Bus; Tom Lochner, Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. And then we’ll stop by for a visit with Amy Scheide, owner of Great Expectations Catering in Wisconsin Rapids, who also shares her love for the tart little red berry, along with Wisconsin cheese, of course.

www.wiscran.org Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin www.cranberrylink.com Glacial Lake Cranberries and Cranberry Marsh Tours Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin www.greatexpectations-llc.com Great Expectations Catering Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin