How farmers in New Jersey’s Pinelands grapple with the environmental toll of Thanksgiving cranberries

Cranberry Harvest, new jersey farming

STEPH YIN / WHYY – Whether sauce, jelly or fresh, cranberries have to be on the table for Thanksgiving. But the tradition comes with a heavy-duty environmental burden: Growing the fruit requires a lot of water and land, as well as strategies, usually chemical, for fighting the many pests that thrive in swampy cranberry bogs.

In the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, however, many families have been cultivating cranberries for generations, and they don’t see their livelihoods as being in conflict with environmental stewardship. Instead, these growers take pride in being guardians of a rare and remarkable ecosystem …

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