"North by East" piece about the rebirth of the cranberry industry in Maine. In



Down East






"North by East" piece about the rebirth of the cranberry industry in Maine. In the 19th-century Maine had 500 to 600 acres in production, the cranberry's being used by sea captains to prevent scurvy. The last commercial bog, at Gile Farm in Alfred, went out of business in 1950, unable to compete with larger growers in Mass. In the late 1980s, the Maine Department of Agriculture and the Eastern Maine Development District, visited cranberry-growing operations in Massachusetts and spoke with Brooks and Nancy Holmes, who operated a bog for Ocean Spray. The couple moved to Jonesboro and planted two acres behind their home in 1989. According to Homes, growing in Maine is different than in Massachusetts. Massachusetts varieties don't do well in Washington County, so growers have imported hybreds from Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. It takes five years rather than three years from planting to commercial production. This year's production in Maine is expected to be 100,000 pounds, with the bulk going to processors for juice, sauce and other products. Holmes believes that cranberry's will be a $100 million business in Maine in another twenty years.


Cranberry industry, Holmes, Brooks, Holmes, Nancy

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