top of page
  • Sara Thompson

Craveable Cranberries are in Season

By Sara Thompson

Image credit: Keith Weller, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Wikimedia Commons.

Special to the Enterprise

Cranberries graced many a table last week for Thanksgiving and continue to be a common household item during the winter holidays as well. Harvesting begins in mid-September, and continues through November, making the berries ready for purchase in early winter.

Cranberries grow on bushes that can reach around 7 feet long and 6-18 inches tall. Like all plants, cranberry bushes require water. They thrive best with constantly moist, well-drained, acidic soil. But can withstand mild flooding during cooler weather, however, they do not tolerate freeze.

Cranberry flowers have a slender stalk and bell-shaped flowers. Their flowers can be various shades of pink and are primarily pollinated by bees. When pollinated, the berries begin to form. Un-ripe cranberries are white or pink. The ripe and ready to eat cranberries are bright red.

Cranberries have two methods of harvesting: wet and dry. The most well-known is wet harvesting. Because the cranberry bush can withstand mild flooding, their fields are flooded for harvesting. The ripe berries have small, hollow pockets in them and will float on the water, allowing for a simple harvest. Wet harvested berries are typically used for juices, jellies, jams, and drying. Dry harvesting is simply picking the berries right off the bush. These berries are collected prior to the field being flooded and are usually packaged for eating as is.

Cranberries are commonly used for supporting the immune system and contain vitamins C and E. When dried, they lose some of their vitamins and often have up to 10 times their sugar added. But no matter how you like your cranberries, they have some benefits and are good for baking for those who may not like overly sweet desserts and pastries.

Explorit's coming events:

• Registration now open for Explorit Winter Camp, January 3-5, 2024. Grades K-2 from 9am-12pm, grades 3-5 from 1-4pm. Registration fee is $115 for Members/$130 for Non-Members.

• You are cordially invited to Teddy Bear Tea at Explorit. Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1pm. Bring your favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal and enjoy a fun-filled time of tea, treats, and bear-themed activities. Registration is $10 and can be reserved from our homepage at Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. It will be a ‘beary’ good time!

• Give the Gift of Science this holiday season. A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits to visit other museums throughout the world. To purchase or for more information visit or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.

• Explorit is open Fridays from 1-4pm and Saturday and Sundays from 10am-2pm. The current exhibit is “Our WILD World”. Admission is $5 per person, free for Explorit Members and those aged 2 and under. Visit our museum store for holiday gift ideas for the whole family.

• Winter Break Extended Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 27-28, open from 10am-2pm; Friday, Dec. 29, open from 10am-4pm. Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 3-4, open from 10am-2pm; Friday, Jan. 5, open from 10am-4pm.

• Think of Explorit for you end of year giving and help us continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow:


bottom of page