Do you also love our red cranberries that are emblematic of Quebec? As delicious as they are beneficial, they can be enjoyed on any occasion and at any time of year. At Patience Fruit & Co, the cranberry is a story of passion, love, and sweetness.
To learn more about their cultivation method, their benefits, and their uses in cooking, discover our guides on cranberries.
Are you wondering where cranberries grow, and what makes them such a delicious and versatile fruit? It all starts in the cradle: the earth that offers us its benefits in multiple forms. In Quebec, the cranberry takes root thanks to the nature of the soil, which is particularly suited to it.
Here are the answers to your questions about cranberry cultivation:
Where do cranberries grow?
Originally from cold and humid lands, the cranberry can primarily be found in bogs, which is why it has chosen to take up residence in Quebec! Its best-known and most-used version, Vaccinium macrocarpon, comes from North America (Canada and the United States). It can also be found in its wild state in these areas, along with its cousin, Vaccinium oxycoccos, in certain parts of Europe.
The cranberry flourishes in acidic and cold areas.
Its growing method requires infrastructure that allows large volumes of water to be moved easily. Indeed, the cranberry needs water for several cultivation operations, such as irrigation to protect it from frost and drought, as well as flooding to defend against insects and for the harvest. Fortunately, the farms are closed circuits and recycle their water.
Did you know that Quebec was one of the world leaders in cranberry exports? In our province, the largest cranberry production happens in the Centre-du-Québec region. Furthermore, the Fruit d’Or group, the company that founded the Patience Fruit & Co brand, is now the world’s leading producer of organic cranberries.
When are cranberries harvested?
Like many fruits, cranberries are harvested at the end of summer or the start of fall. At the start of summer, the flowering period of the plants begins. At this stage, the cranberry pollinators come together in the field to pollinate the flowers. Their work is essential, because it will allow for more berries on the same stem as well as larger berries, and therefore a better yield over the current year.
The fruit is green at first. It becomes whitish before turning red. As soon as it has achieved a ruby colour, it is ripe and ready to be harvested! In Quebec, the harvest period generally extends from late September to late October.
Does the cranberry grow in water?
During the time of harvest, cranberry producers rely on a very specific method: flooding the fields. Against all expectations, cranberries don’t grow underwater! In fact, cranberries grow in sandy soil.
This idea comes from the well-known images of submerged fields where we see the bright red berries floating. Flooding is used multiple times over the seasons. It helps:
- After the harvest, often in late December, to create ice that will protect the plants from extreme winter cold.
- At the start of summer, usually around early June, to defend against insect pests.
- In the fall, for the harvest.
How are cranberries harvested?
At harvest time, cranberry producers once again submerge the fields. The fruit has four air cells that give it the ability to float on the surface of the water. This technique therefore makes it possible to harvest it much more quickly and easily in the fall without damaging the fruit!
Once the cranberry field is flooded, growers use a thresher to stir up the plants. The berries then detach naturally from the plants. They are then collected and pumped into trucks that take them to sorting and processing centres.
The cranberry: nutritional value and preservation
Now that you know more about cranberry cultivation, do you know all the benefits of this berry? Consumed in multiple forms, the cranberry never ceases to surprise with its many beneficial effects on your diet. Learn more about these virtues to demystify the cranberry and enjoy them with every bite!
What are the benefits of cranberries?
Containing no fats and boasting a low protein content, cranberries are a high source of fibre. They therefore contribute to proper digestion! Cranberry juiced, frozen or dried, you enjoy a variety of properties with each form!
How are cranberries preserved?
Fresh cranberries can be preserved in different ways:
- Refrigerated cranberries: You can store them for up to 3 months in your fridge. In this case, they must be stored in an airtight bag to preserve their freshness.
- Frozen cranberries: Once frozen, cranberries can be kept for up to 3 years. Bags of cranberries can be frozen as is in the freezer. And for even fresher fruit, we recommend freezing the berries in an airtight bag.
Dried, they can be kept for up to a year. Otherwise, they can be prepared in many ways to enjoy their benefits!
In addition to being local and offering many properties, the cranberry is above all a highly versatile berry! In cooking, it never ceases to surprise with the multitude of culinary combinations that it creates. Discover a few ways to bring its benefits to all your recipes!
How can the cranberry products be consumed?
If you want eating ideas, this fruit is the perfect ingredient you need. You have plenty of ways to taste it, from cranberry juice cocktail to fresh cranberry sauce! With its tart taste, it also adds a sparkling touch to savoury dishes:
You can enjoy cranberry products:
- For breakfast
- In salads
- In pastries
- With your meats and in your slow cooker recipes
- As a snack with your favourite mixed nuts
- In your favourite cocktails and juices!
Whatever form you prefer, you can enjoy the cranberry in all its flavours and benefit from all its virtues!
Enjoy your favourite red berries in all kinds of sauces
Now you know the secrets of the cranberry and what makes it so famous! Take advantage of its benefits and experience its versatility in your kitchen. Patience Fruit & Co offers you its organic cranberries grown with love in Quebec.
To preserve their flavours and benefits, we have adopted a slower cultivation process at the rhythm of nature. From the flowers to harvesting the berry, we follow the natural process to offer you tender, tasty berries rich in many benefits!