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In the spirit of the season, today’s post is all about cranberries. You know, those tasty, nutrient-dense, little red morsels … you most likely passed them (or passed them by—folks usually love ’em or hate ’em) around your Thanksgiving table last week. And maybe you’ll enjoy them again at a Christmas feast. Their bright-red hues bring a festive touch to any holiday meal.
When I think cranberries, I think New England, where many of the cranberries in the U.S. are grown and harvested. I don’t think my neighboring Washington state … until now. Turns out, Washington state is the fifth largest cranberry-producing state in the U.S. Who knew?
And cranberries are grown in a unique, almost other-worldly setting called a cranberry bog. According to Cranberries.org, “[Cranberries] can grow and survive only under a very special combination of factors. These factors include acid peat soil, an adequate fresh water supply, and a growing season that extends from April to November. Cranberries grow on low-lying vines in beds layered with sand, peat, gravel and clay. These beds are commonly known as bogs or marshes and were originally created by glacial deposits. Commercial bogs use a system of wetlands, uplands, ditches, flumes, ponds and other water bodies that provide a natural habitat for a variety of plant and animal life.”
This gorgeous slideshow of cranberry production in Washington state will make you appreciate these little gems even more. And here are a couple of holiday-inspired recipes to get your creative cranberry juices flowing!
Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)
Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)
My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Becky Gilson!!!
Becky Gilson (Bearprairiechick, #6695) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Gaining Ground Merit Badge!
“I read worms eat garbage. I found a worm factory on craigslist and keep it in the kitchen. I also started a compost bin for the garden.
I started with worms I found in the yard, and they are thriving and multiplying in their new home. The compost is coming along nicely, and I plan to purchase bulk worms for it from our local supplier this spring.”
The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 7,200 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—10,226 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life…
For this week’s Out There Kids/Whistle While You Work Intermediate Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, Piper and I took our newly honed and finely tuned grass-whistling skillz to new heights.
Namely, the tippy-top of her tree, because, well, we had been threatened with bodily harm by all of our respective family members if we so much as blew another blade of grass within their hearing again.
Boy, talk about tough critics.