Bogged Down

By Phyllis Odessey

Thanksgiving may come early on Randall’s Island.  We will be planting a North American native, Vaccinium macrocarpon, otherwise known as the cranberry plant in the Spring.

Inspired by our success with the rice paddy, we’ve decided to try another plant that turns your expectations upside down.

A sea of red, sandy shores, an anit-oxident = the cranberry plant.  Can you grow this plant in New York City?  In 2012 we are going to find out.  We will buying four-year old plants that will fruit and flower in the first year.  We’ve done the research.  Cranberry plants can be grown in the garden.  We will be planting a specimen collection of cranberries in a raised bed with 2 ft. by 2 ft. spacing.  According to Cranberry Creations in Maine, “The key to a successful planting is getting the bed made with low pH, high organic matter soil, preferably peatmoss and sand”.  I believe we can create those conditions.

Cranberries were a staple for Native Americans.  They were eaten with maple sugar and deer meat.  Cranberries were also signified peace and friendship.  We hope our cranberries will become a symbol of peace and friendship for all those  visiting The Learning Garden.


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