Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you had a wonderful day and enough turkey for a tryptophan high on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday! With, of course,


I was never enamored with them. As a kid, I thought they added color to the Turkey day table, but taste-wise, not so much.  As an adult, I never put much thought into cranberries.  So much so, my then-three year old son shared his favorite memory of the holiday at pre-school, “my mom made cranberries in the shape of a can.” Yes, his homemade, organic, granola momma leaned into convenience with cranberries.
In Oregon, my friend Judith gave me the key to unlock cranberry flavor with her baked cranberry sauce*. I have been hooked ever since, glad to live in the #1 cranberry producing state.
Here are the top three states for cranberry production in the United States.
  • Wisconsin. Wisconsin produces 61% of all U.S. cranberries.
  • Massachusetts. Massachusetts was the nation’s leading producer of cranberries before Wisconsin supplanted it in 1994.
  • Oregon.

We visited Cranberry Creek Farm in Necedah, WI, one of the top cranberry producers in Wisconsin and the US. Our friends showed us all facets of production on their 1000 acre farm. Cranberries are one of the few native berries in North America, with a rich history that is centuries old.

First the flooded bog is agitated with an “egg beater” of sorts to loosen the porous berries from the low bushes. Yellow booms pulled across a bog corral the floating berries to a conveyor belt that loads a dump truck with deep red, glistening glory. Our friend Bill knew I was game for an immersion bog experience and let me borrow thigh-high waders fastened to my belt. Chilling and thrilling to scoop them up and throw.


*Judith’s cranberry sauce: Put two cups of fresh cranberries and one cup of sugar in an oven-worthy sauce pan with a tight lid. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees F. That is it! They make a bowl of brilliantly red candied cranberries, not too tart nor too sweet.

Et cetera …

Speaking of brilliant red, Shishito peppers from the farm and a pileated woodpecker were both rare delights this fall. Speaking of birds, just last week I followed and photographed around 20 cedar waxwings as they gleaned red berries around our lake. My favorite bird since age sixteen, cedar waxwings travel in groups of nesting pairs. But never have I seen 20 birds all at once, with their silky plumage that looks like porcelain.


Some moments of joy that I wanted to share!

Photos by SAM and Bob Steiner, and our friendly cranberry farmer 2023

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