Cloverdale Farm Park, in Barnegat, is part of the Ocean County New Jersey Park system and offers some great opportunities to learn about the importance of cranberry farming and the role it played in our history and economy!
So if you thought cranberries came like this, think again!
This Sunday, October 24th and again on November 6th and 7th, you can get a taste of what cranberry farming is all about! The Ocean County Parks system is offering cranberry picking at Cloverdale Farm Park! It ‘s cost is $3, and you have to register. Space is limited so please register through the Ocean County Parks website, or call 1-877-OC PARKS ext. 5940. Bring a one gallon bag, and learn how to pick cranberries!
If picking’s not your thing, and you'd like to hear about cranberry farming from the professionals, visit Cloverdale Farm Park on November 13th. John Headley, a West Creek cranberry grower, will be on hand to talk about cranberry farming and the various types of specialized equipment used in the bogs. Michael Long, a local beekeeper, will talk about the importance of bees in the cranberry pollination process. Bees increase the productivity levels of a bog! Cranberries, baked goods and honey will be available for purchase on November 13th. This program is free!
Cranberry Bogs at Cloverdale Farm, Barnegat NJ
Cranberry cultivation in New Jersey is believed to have begun in 1840. The State Board of Agriculture report of 1874 states that in 1840 a man by the name of John Webb established a cranberry bog in Ocean County near Cassville (Jackson Township). Mr. Webb received $50.00 per barrel for his cranberries. They were bought by ship merchants who sold them to whalers. Cranberries were kept on board ships in barrels of cold water because the Vitamin C and helped ward off scurvy!
This was well before the invention of wet harvesting, like you see on the Ocean Spray commercials. The first experiments with the wet pick method of harvesting were carried out in 1962. William S. Haines was the wet pick pioneer in New Jersey. Today, the Haines family harvests the entire cranberry crop by this method, harvesting 95% of the berries in 60% of the time it formerly took to dry pick. The shortened harvest time also decreases the danger of crop damage by frost.
Before the cultivation of cranberries, families would gather from miles around to pick the wild berries for their winter tables. But those picking them before they were fully ripe were subject to penalty. In 1789, the New Jersey legislature passed an act which stipulated that anyone picking cranberries before October 10 could be fined 10 shillings.
The penalties for early picking!
If you're planning to attend the programs at Cloverdale Farm Park in Barnegat, you must register. Check out all the programs at Cloverdale Farm Park. Please dress warmly...all programs are outside. Space is limited and registration is required.
Cloverdale Farm Park, located in Barnegat off of West Bay Boulevard, used to be an operating cranberry farm. In 2004, Ocean County acquired Cloverdale Farm. Katherine Collins, the local cranberry farmer in town, previously owned the farm. Mrs. Collins had lived on the property for over 50 years with her husband William, who passed away in 2000. The property, about 80 acres, had been used as an active cranberry farm since the early 1900s.