BOSTON (WPRI) — It’s official. October in the Commonwealth is “Massachusetts Cranberry Month.”
Gov. Charlie Baker made the declaration Friday and encouraged residents to purchase locally-produced cranberry products.
“The cranberry industry is a significant driver for the Massachusetts economy,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said. “The production of cranberries provides enormous environmental benefits to the Commonwealth and our local growers are true stewards of their land, incorporating the latest in technology and equipment to harvest their fruit in ways that conserves water and protects natural resources.”
Massachusetts, according to the Baker administration, is the oldest cranberry growing region in the country, with approximately 13,300 acres of commercial cranberry bogs in the state.
Cranberries represent the top commercial cop grown in the state, producing nearly 23% of the country’s cranberry supply.
“The cranberry is a unique fruit, native to Massachusetts, and has become synonymous with Thanksgiving Day celebrations across the country thanks to its role in our nation’s history,” Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux said. “Taking place from late September to early November, the cranberry harvest season coincides with the fall foliage season, providing a double dose of visual splendor and making October the perfect month to celebrate.”
State Sen. Michael Rodrigues called cranberry agriculture “an important part of the Commonwealth’s unique identity.”
Last year, the Baker administration said the total value of the state’s cranberry production was $64.8 million.