Breath Of Ecology

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Those of us who were so fortunate as to have celebrated a Thanksgiving meal with loved ones probably enjoyed a delicious helping of cranberries in some form.


Those little red berries, usually eaten as sauce that is jelled, can also be enjoyed in the forms of juice, syrups, salsa, cocktails, and in baked goods.


Cranberries are grown in the northern parts of the country. Massachusetts alone has about 14,000 acres of cranberry bogs, which are flooded layers of sand, peat, gravel, and clay left by glaciers thousands of years ago.


They grow on vines, much like strawberries, and it is possible for some to continue to bear fruit for 150 years. 


In the bogs at least one inch of water should be maintained through sprinkler systems or by flooding for irrigation, frost protection, and harvesting, which takes place between September and November. 


As the berries contain pockets of air, when ripe they become dislodged from the vines and float to the surface, where they are corralled and pumped out of the water.


Although they can't be popped into your mouth like grapes because of their high acidity, and are often just a Thanksgiving treat, they're around in one of the above forms for our enjoyment throughout the year.

Written by:  Sr. Joel:  a Dominican Sister of Peace who lives in Springfield, KY.  She is a native of New Orleans  and has been a teacher, school and parish administrator, social worker, religious educator, and missionary.  She has written "Breath of Ecology" for local newspapers and has published a book under the same title.

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