Cranberries at the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market

This week’s Haliburton County Farmers’ Market focuses on the wonderful qualities, characteristics and taste of the mighty cranberry.

The Oxford English Dictionary indicates that the early New England colonists may have coined the word cranberry from the German “kranebere” – literally, “crane berry.” Some say this is because the flower was considered to like a crane, while others think it’s because cranes were seen to feed on the plant.

The first known use of the word “cranberries” in English occurred in a letter written by the missionary John Eliot in 1647. (Source: Cranberry Harvest: A History of Cranberry Growing in Massachusetts. Joseph D. Thomas, ed. New Bedford, Mass.: Spinner Publications, 1990.)

The cranberry is a Native American wetland fruit which grows on trailing vines like a strawberry. The vines thrive on the special combination of soils and water properties found in wetlands. Wetlands are nature’s sponges; they store and purify water and help to maintain the water table. Cranberries grow in beds layered with sand, peat and gravel. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally formed as a result of glacial deposits.

Cranberries, for the most part, are grown through the northern part of the United States. The major production areas are New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Quebec. Other regions grow cranberries as well, to varying extent, and these include Delaware, Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, as well as the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario.

To learn more about cranberries, please visit our ‘Weekly Events Guide” and these other very informative links:
Global Gourmet
Cranberries at Wikipedia
– Cranberry Recipes at Canadian Living

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It’s Corn Season at the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market!

Corn is a vegetable and each kernel of corn is a seed. Kernels grow on cobs in cylindrical rows. There are a lot of seeds in each ear too as typically, each ear of sweet corn holds 800 kernels, situated in approximately 15 rows.

Sweet corn was the result of a gene mutation in field corn. This mutation occurred in the 1800s when sugar was prevented from entering the kernel and being converted into starch.

When shopping for corn, etiquette should be observed! One faux pas is pulling back husks if you don’t intend to buy the ear. Look instead for signs of freshness – A light pale green stem with silks & ends just beginning to turn brown. Etiquette aside, the husk protects the kernels, keeping them fresh and moist as corn starts losing sweetness as soon as it’s picked.

So, come out to the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market this Friday, August 24th as we celebrate this vegetable that has been cultivated for a millennia. Visit our ‘Weekly Events’ page for more insight into corn, and some fantastic recipes, too!

To learn more about corn, especially about its rich history, please visit these links:
Native American History of Corn
All about maize
The First People’s Corn
Three Sisters Garden
How and Why to Avoid GMO Corn