Cranberries Offer Taste and Health
THUNDER BAY – Cranberries have gone from a can of sauce at Thanksgiving and Christmas to a tasty treat that can be enjoyed in a number of ways year-. From dried cranberries as a snack, to fresh made cranberry sauce, to juice, the options are great and growing.
Bala is known for its waterfalls and its cranberries. Iroquois Cranberry Growers, run by the Wahta Mohawks, is nestled, halfway between Toronto and Parry Sound.
Matthew Commandant, Iroquois Cranberry Growers says, “A lot of people like to come up from Toronto and see the operation, see the fruit being picked, and it gives them a better idea of where their food comes from”.
Ingrid Clark, says, “700 thousand pounds of cranberries are nurtured here. Cranberries don’t actually grow in bogs. They grow on dry land because their roots don’t like to be wet. In fact, they prefer sandy soil. In October, the vines are flooded, forming the familiar bog, before harvest. And the bright red berries float to the surface where they are easily captured. Then they go for cleaning and processing before sale”.
Matthew Commandant, Iroquois Cranberry Growers comments, “We sell almost a tractor trailer load in Ontario, right from the farm gate. The local fruit and vegetable vendor picks some up here, we sell 2 kilo bags retail, and there’s also a number of people that come and buy boxes because they do a great deal of preserving and canning.
Where perhaps we’re going is increasing our value-added products. That makes a lot of sense for most farmers if they can do it.”