On the bog
Much more goes into Thanksgiving cranberries than a cup of sugar
I’ve lived in Massachusetts for 30 years and have cooked and eaten dozens of turkey dinners, and yet I’ve never thought much about cranberries beyond a vague awareness that there are cranberry bogs in the southeastern part of the state. This fall, I decided to see for myself what a cranberry has to go through to make it to my dinner table. I drove down to Rochester on a deep-blue, cool October morning. Second-generation cranberry grower Scott Ashley was out on one of his bogs (he owns 67 acres of bogs, and another 113 acres of support land: ponds, ditches, roads), harvesting along with eight other men. I watched them work, talked with Scott, and went to the processing and distribution plant in nearby Carver. Here’s what I learned.