On Martha’s Vineyard, folks have been eating cranberries since long before Europeans arrived. One of our farmstand suppliers is the Vineyard Open Land Foundation, which grows certified organic cranberries in the Lambert’s Cove area of Tisbury. Their sale benefits the foundation’s cranberry bog restoration project.

We also carry top-quality, dry-harvested fresh Cape Cod cranberries from Edgewood Bogs, a fourth-generation family business in Carver.

“They’re very nice people, and they do the dry harvest, which most bogs don’t do,” says Debbie Athearn, who has been sourcing from Edgewood for the past decade or so. “You have to harvest fresh berries dry.” Cranberries harvested from flooded bogs are destined for processing at Ocean Spray or a similar agribusiness, Debbie explains.

Another lesser-known fact about cranberries is that, like apples, they come in multiple varieties.

“The early berries are paler and quite tart and don’t last very well, whereas the ones I start getting in mid-November are dark red and will store in your refrigerator for months. I always keep a bag in my refrigerator after we close in late December, and use it until March,” Debbie says.

These are the same fresh cranberries we use in the farm bakery, in dishes like our Harvest Pie (recipe »») and Cranberry Pudding Cake.

Here are some other recipes for fresh cranberries:

photo by Alison Shaw