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B Eastwood.

A complete manual for the cultivation of the cranberry. With a description of the best varieties online

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COMPLETE MANUAL

Cultiiration



Of



THE CRANBERRY,



WITH A DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST VARIETIES.



BY B. EASTWOOD,

"BPTIHU8," OF THE NEW YOKK TKIBC3T1



NEW-YORK:

ORANGE JUDD & COMPAN
245 BROADWAY.



sv



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 18&6, by

C. M. 8AXTON, & CO,.

tm U Cirk' Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern DwRet**
New York,



DEDICATION.

TO THE

HON. HORACE GKEELEY,

OP THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE, AND THE

ADVOCATE OP WHATEVER MAY DEVELOP THE AoBiccir

TURAL BESOUECES OP THE COUNTRY.

THIS MANUAL is INSCRIBED BY

THE AUTHOR



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

MM

NATURAL HISTORY OP THE CRANBERRY 11

CHAPTER II.
FIRST GROWERS 19

Difficulties of Cultivation Failures and their Causes The
Fruits of Experience Average Yields of Early Crops.

CHAPTER III.

PROPER LOCATIONS OF CRANBERRY PATCHES 26

Uplands not Suitable Reasons Why Stagnant Water Best
Aspects Situations Shelter Required.

CHAPTER IV.
SOILS AND MODES OF PREPARING THEM 34

CHAPTER V.
VINES , 40

Time for Selection Healthy Vines Their Appearance Un-
healthy Vines Signs of.

CHAPTER VI.
CRANBERRY PATCH 45

How to Make When to Make.



VI CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VII.

PAOI

PLANTING VINES 49

Time for Bemoving the Vine Best time for Planting-
Methods of Planting Sod Planting, objections to Separa-
tion of Sod Vines How to place the Roots and the Run-
ners Cutting Planting, Method of Broadcast Method
Propagation from the Seed in the Berry Methods of
Objections to.

CHAPTER VIII.

TREATMENT OP YOUNG VINES 57

Weeding Hoeing Flooding.

CHAPTER IX.
BLOSSOMING TIME PRECAUTIONS REQUIRED 61

CHAPTER X.

DISEASES OF THE CRANBERRY 64

The Worm Two Kinds One attacks the Yine, and the other
the Fruit Fire Blight Rot Best Remedy for the Worm.

CHAPTER XI.

CRANBERRY PICKING TIME 69

Different Methods of Picking Raking Packing.

CHAPTER XII.

THE GREAT CRANBERRY MARKETS 71

Boston New York Philadelphia Influence of Climate on
Prices Relative Value of Different Species of Cranberries
The Increase in the Consumption of Cranberries.

CHAPTER XIII.
THE OXYCOCCUS PALUSTRIS, OR UPLAND CRANBERRY 77



vu



LETTERS FROM GROWERS PRACTICAL HINTS, &c ............. 81

VINES, WHERE TO BE HAD ................................. 108

APPENDIX TO THE MANUAL ................................ 109

FLINT'S STATISTICS AND METHOD OP CULTUBB ................ 110

LELAND'S METHOD. . . . . 113



ILLUSTRATIONS.

TITLE PAGE 1

BELL CRANBERRY 18

BUGLE " 18

CHERRY * 18

HEALTHY VINE 41

SOD PLANTING 52

CENTRAL CUTTING PLANTING 53

CUTTING PLANTING 54

DISEASES 64

CRANBERRIES OF COMMERCE. . , .76



$0



EVERY one connected with agricultural pursuits in
this country, must be aware that there exists at pre-
sent considerable anxiety respecting the best modes of
cultivating the cranberry. Having been attracted to
this subject, I paid particular attention to it, and in-
stituted a series of investigations, with special refer-
ence to raising the berry as an article of commerce.
In these, I was materially assisted by some of the
most successful growers in the country, whose "yards"-
I visited, and whose experiences I received from their
own lips. The results of these investigations I par-
tially embodied in a series of letters which were made
public through the columns of the "New York
Tribune," and so great was the attention they excited,
and so many letters asking for further information
were forwarded to me, that I concluded to embody my
own experience, and that of others on the subject, in
the manual which is now before the reader. In it, any
1*



10 TO THE HEADER.

intelligent farmer will find all the knowledge lie can
require for raising the cranberry. It only remains for
me generally, to thank the many gentlemen who have
favored me with their experiences, and to call atten-
tion to the valuable letters which are incorporated
with this work, and to note the designs by J. E. Dix,
Esq., which were made under my own directions from
nature, and are accurate in all respects.

JANUARY, 1856.



THE CRANBERRY



CHAPTER I.

NATURAL HISTORY OF THE CRANBERRY

IF the traveller over Cape Cod will now and then
turn his eye toward the borders of the many ponds
which abound in that region, or occasionally examine
the margin of swampy tracts, he will frequently per-
ceive patches, as they are technically termed, of a
strange-looking, and at first sight, a seemingly stunted
vegetation, presenting very different appearances to
those exhibited by fields of stately Indian corn ; or
tracts of farm land, where the tall stalks of the rye
wave, and ears of wheat look golden in the sunshine
of summer.

A certain preciseness of planting, and regularity of
disposition, convinces even the most careless observer,
that these patches are by no means unproductive
And if he chooses to inquire of the next person he
meets, he will learn that these, to him singular-looking
specimens of farming, are cranberry grounds.



12 THE CKANBERKY.

We liave selected Cape Cod as the imaginary field
of our illustration, inasmuch as that erroneously sup-
posed exclusively sandy region contains within its
boundaries more cranberry yards than any othei
locality of similar dimensions, that we are aware of
The reason why it should be so, is obvious enough.
Its mixture of sand and soil, its peculiar climate, its
exemption from early frosts, matters to which, with
others relevant to the subject, we shall hereafter refer
are all favorable to the production of cranberries.
Indeed, this berry promises to share, with the codfish,
a great local popularity.

There are many other parts of this great country
where cranberries are grown, but it is confessed on all
hands, that Cape Cod takes the lead in this enterprise.
Her few growers have achieved a reputation for their
fruit, which already commands ready sales, and the
best prices. This circumstance has of late drawn at-
tention to the growing of cranberries, as a money-
making undertaking; and curiosity having been once
excited, it is not likely to be allayed, until growers in
other parts of the States spring up, and like their Cape
Cod brethren, succeed in making otherwise unproduc-
tive tracts of land both fruitful and a source of gain.
For there are at this moment thousands of acres of
swampy and sandy places, in the great West and in the
South, which by a little labor can be converted into



THE CRANBERRY. 13

'cranberry grounds. The only difficulty experienced
by those who are inclined to enter this field of agri-
cultural industry, is the difficulty experienced by every
other new enterprise, the want of knowing how to
begin, and when begun, how to carry it on to a suc-
cessful issue. Hitherto, no reliable instructions have
appeared in print, but in the following pages, the sub-
ject will be so fully treated of, in all its bearings, that
any intelligent agriculturist will, by following the
hints thrown out, and the directions given, find no
difficulty whatever in securing decent crops of this in-
creasingly popular berry.

The cranberry has long been known to naturalists
as a berry possessing certain properties and peculiari-
ties, although but comparatively few years have
elapsed since its use as a culinary fruit has been exten-
sively known. Long years ago, it was used by the
Indians, who in their way were extensively acquainted
with the products of the soil ; they gathered, and
Coasted the unripe berries and used them as poultices,
believing that when applied to the wounds made by
poisoned arrows, they had the power of drawing
the venom forth. Many a squaw of the Pequods on
Cape Cod, if we may credit the statements of some of
the early settlers, made a mess of cranberries to give a
relist to the venison they killed and cooked ; thus an-
ticipating the more elaborate jelly of our own times,



14 THE CKANBERRY.

or the cranberry sauce, without widen a thanksgiving
turkey is now considered shorn of half its glory.

These cranberries, however, were wild, and of an
austere flavor, just as the potatoes which Sir "Walter
Ealeigh first discovered and carried with him to Eng-
land were but the puny progenitors of the large and
mealy affairs which now, as Chenangoes, Irish, or
under other specific names, appear daily on every table.

It is not positively known from what particular
country the cranberry originally came. Most pro-
bably, like many other fruits and plants, it is indi-
genous to many soils. One thing is certain, that in
various parts of America, both North and South, it
exists in a wild state, in various parts, in great profu-
sion, and it is not unreasonable to suppose, that there
are at this moment uncountable acres in this country
where it abounds unheeded, and only allowed to run
waste because the value of the berries is not known.
On many of the vast steppes of Eussia wild cranberries
abound, and even amid the wastes of Siberia it is oc.-
casionally to be met with. Indeed, the Eussian cran-
berries proved for a long time to be no inconsiderable
portion of the exports of that country, and even until
the breaking out of the Eastern War, there were to be
seen among bales of hides, hogsheads of tallow, bundles
of bristles, and bales of hemp, certain quaint-looking
earthen jars, which contained cranberries /or the use



THE ENGLISH CKANBEKKY. 15

of the lords and ladies of London. And it was only
such who could afford to pay the high prices de-
manded for these Muscovite luxuries. Now that the
Crimean "War has effectually put a stop to the impor-
tation of Kussian cranberries, it is but reasonable to
suppose that the American article will monopolize the
English market.

At the present time, there are but two kinds of cran-
berries in the market these are known as the English
and American cranberry. Without entering into
scientific details, or perplexing the reader with botan-
ical technicalities, we will, as concisely as may be,
describe both kinds, and their special peculiarities.

THE ENGLISH CRANBERRY.

(OXTOOCOUS PAMTBTBB.)

This species of cranberry abounds in many of the
marshy and fenny districts of England, and in some
parts of Ireland. In the latter country, they are
scarcely noticed by the peasantry, who seem to devote
all their energies to the cultivation of the inevitable
potato. There are two counties in the midland, or
rather eastern districts of England, which are cele-
brated for the large extent of marshes and fens they
contain. Indeed, many portions of Norfolk and Lin-
colnshire are mere bogs, or swamps, at certain rainy



16 THE ENGLISH CKAKBEKRY.

seasons ; thousands of acres are submerged, the only
harvest supplied by them being wild ducks and the
like, for the great markets of the principal cities.

In these counties, the wild cranberry is found in
great abundance, but it is a peculiarity of the plant,
that it never grows among the stagnant water, but
wherever found, it always flourishes by the side of the
numerous little rills which feed the great fens. From
this fact, very useful hints may be taken by the grower
of the cultivated vine, as we shall have hereafter occa-
sion to show. The English fruit is scarcely as large
as an ordinary green pea, it is of a pale-red color, and
having an austere and almost acrid taste. It possesses
a bitter principle, on which its peculiar flavor mainly
depends, and a small portion of tannin, which renders
the raw berry somewhat astringent. This principle,
however, and of course its effects, are destroyed in
cooking. The English housewife from this berry
manufactures marmalade, jelly, jam, and the like, and
for puddings and pies are much prized; but in her
cuisne the delicately flavored cultivated cranberry is
not known, excepting indeed her master, on his return
from a visit to London, brings with him a bottle of
the American cranberries, for which he has paid the
not very moderate price of five shillings (or nearly
a dollar and a quarter) sterling. This leads us to be-
lieve that if our transatlantic parent, John Bull, was to



THE AMERICAN CRANBERRY. 17

exercise as much diligence and tact as his son Jonathan
has done on this side the ocean, in cultivating the cran-
berry vines of the fens, he would reap an abundant
harvest from lands which are now lying as barren
wastes. But while the present war lasts, there is little
chance of his going ahead in this particular depart-
ment of agriculture ; and therefore the growers here
will doubtless, for a long time to come, find a market
in England for the species we will next call the reader's
attention to.

THE AMERICAN CRANBERRY.

(OXYCOCOTJS MAOBOOABPTJB.)

It is scarcely necessary to say much about a berry,
which must be so familiar to almost all, as is the
American cranberry. Of course it has the same gene-
ral properties as the English fruit, but yet there are
important differences, as well as resemblances. "While
the English berry is small, of a pale red, the American
one is large, and richly colored ; some specimens are as
deeply crimsoned as a dark-hued cherry. The leaves,
blossom, and fruit of the latter also, are much larger,
and the flavor greatly superior ; by some the reverse
has been asserted, but from experience, and practical
knowledge, we can testify to the superiority of the
American cranberry over all others that we have ever
met with.



18 AMERICAN VARIETIES.

The American cranberry, is divided by growers and
dealers into three great varieties. These are,

1. THE BELL CRANBERRY.

2. THE BUGLE CRANBERRY.

3. THE CHERRY CRANBERRY.

I. THE BELL CRANBERRY. This species is so
called because of some fancied resemblance to a bell in
its shape. Of this variety there is but one kind. It is
about the largest species, and almost as dark colored
as blood coral. Of its comparative yield, as well as of
those of the other kinds, we shall by-and-by speak.
(See plate No. 2).

n. THE BUGLE CRANBERRY. This species some-
what resembles a bugle bead, it being elongated, and
approaching an oval. Of the bugle species there are
two kinds, large and small the large is generally
preferred by the growers. (See plate No. 3).

HE. THE CHERRY CRANBERRY. So called from its
similarity in shape, size, and color to that well-known
fruit. It is of two kinds, large and small. Each of
these kinds are in the market, and with this brief but
sufficient notice of them we close this chapter. (See
plate No. 4). '




S.L.COX




BUGLE CRANBERRY,

Natural Size.

3.



3.4.COX



CHERRY CRANBERRY

Natural Sice.




CHAPTER II.

FIRST GROWERS.

DIFFICULTIES OF CULTIVATION FAILURES, AND THEIR CAUSES
THE FRUITS OF EXPERIENCE AVERAGE YIELDS OF EARL*
CROPS.

MOST new enterprises and undertakings have been
attended with difficulty. For the want of correct know-
ledge, supported by experience, disappointment and
failure have frequently been the result of efforts which
have been sought to be crowned with success. There
is not the commonest root or vegetable on the farm,
but what requires knowledge and experience in its
management.

Some individuals suddenly determine upon quitting
the city store, and make choice of a farmer's profession
as that which they intend to follow in the future of
their lives. But any person, who knows even little
of agriculture, is certain of this, that such an inexperi-
enced individual is sure to meet with difficulties in
his new calling which will be discouraging ; and be-

(19)



22 FIRST GROWERS.

berry a leading article of importance and profit on
their farms, tip to that time little was known of how
the vine should be managed.

The first cultivators were beset with difficulties
these were numerous ; and so great were they deemed,
that some individuals gave up in despair. These diffi-
culties we will briefly sketch, that the reader who con-
templates making a cranberry yard may not be dis-
couraged by what he may deem hardships and ob-
stacles in his way.

There was a general ignorance of the nature and
habits of the vine. Some vines were found on the
edges of swamps and ponds, and their runners would
seem to avoid the water, and seek the dry upland.
This led to the opinion that a dry situation was best
adapted to the wants of the cranberry; accordingly,
some planted the vine in locations that were rather
dry and arid. They lingered on for a time, looked
sickly, blighted, and stunted in their growth, yielding
but little or no fruit. Some who tried this method
were discouraged.

The cranberry vine is likewise found away from the
edges of the bogs and swamps ; situated in the centre
of these are small mounds and tufts of soil that are to
be met with in abundance. On these elevations the
vine is often to be found. It will throw its runners
down to the water, and from this fact, the conclusion



FIRST GROWERS. 23

come to by many was, that the vine absolutely needed
a situation like the one described, and then it would
do well enough. They tried to imitate nature in this
respect and failed. They gave them too much water,
and drowned them.

The question of location was a source of trouble.
Some would plant in the swamp, and others in dry
situations. Some would select a southerly aspect, and
others a northern one. There was no rule or experi-
ence to guide them in the commencement of forming a
yard, hence their difficulties and consequent failures.

Then, soils was a source of perplexity to many.
Would the cranberry do better in rich loamy soil, than
in any other? Most plants flourished in such earth ;
then, why not the vine? It was tried, and the plants
run to vines, looked well and thrifty, and bore but
little fruit. Clay must be good for them. This was
also tested, but it caked, and the plants in summer
were stunted, shrivelled, and burnt up.

Peat was experimented with, and was found no
better than clay, (but we shall show when we come
to treat on soils, that this vegetable soil can 'be
so prepared as to be a rival to beach sand). We
must not overlook the treatment to which the vines
were subjected in these early days of the cranberry
culture. They were too frequently planted and left
to take care of themselves, and the wild grass the



24 FIRST GROWERS.

almost fatal enemy of the vine would choke them.
All these difficulties produced their results. Some
gave up, but others tried and experimented again and
again, until success crowned their efforts.

The fruits of this rich experience are abundant, and
have proved useful to those who are now intending to
cultivate the cranberry vine. They have improved
the vine itself have naturalized it, have by cultiva-
tion made the vine yield largely, and a fruit, too, in
some instances about thrice the size of the berry in its
native swamp, or bog. The intending cultivator has
now this advantage over the first growers : he has in-
structions to fall back upon, instructions which it is
safe to follow, because practical experiment has taught
us what is to be avoided, and what is to be done. A
yard can now be prepared at a much less cost than it
could in former years, and those who have persevered
in keeping their yards in a good condition, and have
enlarged them, have for the last few years been real-
izing more than paying profits. It is this experience
which cheapens the cost of a yard, for the advantage
is with him who knows how to make it, while the
ignorant will have to fight the difficulties and obstacles
which opposed the first growers, and consequently it
will entail greater expense upon him.

The average yield of early crops is not large. It
takes a few years for the vines to mat, and if the loca



FIRST GROWERS. 25

tion is suitable, and they receive a moderate degree of
attention, each year will increase their productive capa-
bilities, so that the third or fourth year will begin to
pay the cultivator with remunerative prices.

From the difficulties presented in this chapter which
lay in the path of the early growers of the cranberry,
let not the reader be discouraged. There is no occa-
sion for such a feeling, because you have the benefit
of experience, and the best method of cultivation to
guide you; the particulars of which we shall state in
the next chapter.



CHAPTER III

PROPER LOCATIONS FOR CRANBERRY
PATCHES.

UPLANDS NOT SUITABLE EEASON WHY STAGNANT WATER NOT
SUITABLE BEST ASPECTS SITUATIONS SHELTER KEQUIRED.

JUST at tliis time there is considerable excitement
on the subject of cranberry cultivation. It is proba-
ble that it has to some extent been created by the very
high prices which this fruit has been fetching of late
years, but more especially in the fall of 1855. It is
quite proper that a practical farmer, who is aware of
the fact above stated, should ask himself if he cannot
cultivate the vine ? if he cannot turn some portion of
his land to some account ? if he cannot appropriate
a small patch of low meadow land to be planted with
cranberries ? It is believed that many who are keenly
alive to this subject, would at once begin to make a
survey of their farm to ascertain whether any part of
it would be, or could be made into a good profitable
cranberry patch, providing they knew what kind of



LOCATIONS FOR PATCHES. 27

locations are most suitable, and best adapted to develop
this berry.

In reference to locations, there are various opinions,
each grower giving the preference to those situations
in which his own vines do best.

"We find that there are such differences on this sub-
ject that it will not be amiss to state them as clearly
as we can, and then describe those locations to which
the generality of producers so strictly adhere.

The question has often been put, Can cranberries .be
grown on uplands ? Is it a suitable situation ? will it
pay to plant on elevated grounds ? The cranberry is
not a native of the upland, and will never do well in
such situations if there is not nigh to the roots some
of those elements which nourish and strengthen the
plant in its wild and unreclaimed condition. The
cranberry needs moisture, and that in great proportions
for so small a plant. If it is set out on the upland,
and it does not derive sufficient moisture from the at-
mosphere, that is, more than is needed by surrounding
vegetation, and if it cannot derive it from another
source, it will die.

If the cranberry is planted upon the upland, water
should be in the ground, so as to supply the roots with
moisture. If that situation is an incline, it will be
better, because it will take off the surplus water under
the plants, and leave them enough to meet their de-



28 LOCATIONS FOR PATCHES.

mands. In upland planting, where the vines have
done well and produced good crops, we are of opinion
that they have been favorably situated.

In the absence, or rather scarcity of moisture, it is
common to hoe and stir the soil about the roots of the
plants, that it may be kept porous, so that the air may
contribute to the vine's necessities.

You must not forget this, that those who plant on
uplands are put to trouble and expense in frequent
hoeing. Some individuals seem to admire and prefer
the upland, but we cannot see any reason for this, ex
cept that it is the best situation they have at command.
Years of trial and experiment may yet bring this loca-
tion into notoriety. We have seen the upland tried
on Cape Cod, but the plants failed, though some few
lived and yielded fruit. The gentleman* who tried
this experiment, believes that if he had taken care of
his plants and hoed them often, he would have succeed-
ed better. This is his opinion. In our investigations
on this subject we fell in with the following item in the
Boston Telegraph, which we give entire, that the reader
may have all the evidence we can give him in favor
of the upland as a suitable location for cranberries :

"Other experiments, however, show the practica-
bility of raising cranberries on upland. Mr. Koberts'

* James Howes, Esq.



LOCATIONS FOR PATCHES. 29

experiment embraced a tract near the foot of a slope
descending in a westerly direction. The ground was
ploughed eight inches deep, and harrowed ; light fur-
rows, three and a half feet apart, were run lengthwise,
and the sods were cut from the swamp, carted on the up-
land, and placed three feet apart in the rows (though
two would have been better), then carefully hoed and
kept free from weeds for two years. No water was
supplied except that received from occasional rains."

Notwithstanding this evidence appears strong and
conclusive, yet we believe that the most experienced


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Online LibraryB EastwoodA complete manual for the cultivation of the cranberry. With a description of the best varieties → online text (page 1 of 6)