Cranberry harvest season has begun at Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh

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Photo credit: Johnston's Cranberry Marsh

Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh is buzzing as this year’s cranberry harvest begins. The cranberry season is the busiest and most exciting time of year for Johnston’s – and this year is no exception.

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Photo credit: Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh

Despite a summer drought, this year’s harvest may be the biggest crop ever with an anticipated 500,000 pounds of cranberries. Farmer Murray Johnston has been closely watching this year’s crop. “Rain is important for fruit growth. Our cranberries need an inch of water per week. While it’s been a dry summer, we can rely on our irrigation system to mimic rainfall,” says Murray Johnston.

Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh consistently produces the best quality cranberries in Ontario by using a harvesting method only used by 5% of growers in Canada. The picking method most commonly used by other growers takes a machine to ‘beat’ the vines, knocking off the cranberries. Most growers harvest this way because it’s fast and easy – and makes for fun commercials. The Johnston family believes that gentle handling makes for better berries. They carefully comb their berries off the vines, resulting in less bruising and better quality fruit.

“Many people don’t fully realize the care and skill our team put into the cranberries we grow,” says Murray Johnston. “We plan to share as much of the process as possible with consumers so they feel an even stronger connection when they visit the farm.” Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh, home of Muskoka Lakes Winery, offers their Bog to Bottle Discovery designated a Canadian Signature Experience. This guided farm tour and tutored wine tasting is offered every day at 11, 1 and 3. The tour has been revised this year to share even more interesting information about harvesting, cranberries, the onsite winery, and the Johnston family history.

Harvest season at the Farm offers plenty of ways to celebrate Muskoka’s native fruit.

Activities offered everyday:

  • Daily tours @ 11, 1 & 3
  • See the harvesting and packinghouse operations
  • Enjoy a wine tasting
  • Shop in The Cranberry Emporium
  • Relax on the wine and cheese patio
  • Sample cranberry goodies at the Cranberry Cafe (Open daily Oct. 1 – 16)
  • Hike the trails
  • Hunt for geocaches
  • Critter catching for the kids

Activities offered weekends only:

  • Wagon Tours offered all day (weekends between Sept. 24- Oct. 16)
  • Helicopter Rides (weekends between Oct. 8-Oct. 16)
  • Walk in the Berries (weekends between Oct. 8-Oct. 16)
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Photo credit: Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh

The beginning of harvest season, is a unique time to visit Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh as they harvest a large percentage of white cranberries. The white cranberries are used to make Muskoka Lakes Winery’s White Cranberry Wine – a wine unlike any other in Canada. With 27 acres of cranberries to pick, harvesting should last until the end of October.

For more information, contact: Matt French at 705-762-3203 or by email, at: matt@cranberry.ca

 

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