Summer on the Bog

The summer months see a wide variety of activity on the cranberry bogs. In the middle of July, the cranberry blossoms have been pollinated, fruit has set, and we see the bees disappear as quickly as they arrived in mid-June. The tiny cranberry flowers have dropped their petals and green cranberries have begun to grow.

At this stage, our top priority is to keep the crop healthy and growing. It is essential to feed, weed, water, protect, and support the growing fruit.

As the berries begin to develop in size, they need nourishment. During the summer months, fertilizer is applied to bog areas to encourage growth. Careful consideration is needed to encourage fruit growth over vine growth.

As with any crop, weeds may interfere with the progress and health of the developing cranberries. Weeds that are deemed detrimental to a crop’s progress are typically hand weeded. Weeds that are not disturbing the crop’s progress are often left alone.

The traditional rule of thumb is that cranberries need an average of one inch of water per week during the growing season. Rain is preferred, as it provides nutrients that irrigation cannot duplicate. Fortunately, irrigation can balance rainfall shortages.

Technology has come to play a crucial role in each season of cranberry farming and is particularly helpful during the summer months. Our pumps are equipped with auto-start technology that make it easy to set a watering schedule that ensures sufficient irrigation.

Consistent with industry best management practices, we use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques as an ecological approach to pest control. IPM includes a combination of biological, cultural, or chemical control methods. Throughout the spring and summer, trained IPM scouts use insect nets to monitor pest activity. This helps to determine if individual insect presence meets a threshold where treatment is necessary. Insecticides and fungicides may be applied during the summer months to control or prevent serious damage caused by various insects and diseases. Pesticides are only used when necessary and are applied by state-certified applicators.

With our constant support and Mother Nature’s help, our summertime efforts will result in a bountiful fall harvest!

Rosebrook, Wareham, Massachusetts
July 23, 2020

Blossom Season

adm_beesWhile many think of cranberries as a fall fruit requiring much care and attention during the cooler months, the real work begins long before the autumn air arrives. The late spring and early summer months are vital to the cranberry crop’s success.

During this time of year, the tender vines are developing cranberry buds that will turn into tiny, yet powerful, cranberry blossoms. As the bud and blossom develop, it is crucial to protect them from frost damage, provide adequate nutrients, and establish a healthy environment for growth. This phase of care and protection leads to the next critical element of crop success: pollination.

Typically, blossom time extends from mid-June through mid-July. As the tiny bud begins to open, its outer pink petals reveal a white flower. This is a unique time of year when the thousands of tiny white flowers cover the bog’s surface, resembling a light dusting of winter snow.

The sheer volume of flowers that require pollination vastly outweighs the number of native pollinators in a given bog area. For this reason, the A.D. Makepeace Company obtains a large quantity of honeybee hives and bumble bee boxes each spring to assist in the pollination process. The rule of thumb is approximately two honeybee hives per acre of cranberries or one bumble bee box per acre. While the two varieties of bees cannot be in close proximity to each other, each has its own strengths and characteristics. Although the cranberry industry has long debated the most beneficial bee, today the honeybee remains the primary bee of choice throughout the industry.

Hoppy Bog, Carver, Massachusetts
June 10, 2020

Office Temporarily Closed

June 1, 2020

welcome to our officeIn accordance with Governor Baker’s order, the A.D. Makepeace Company offices are currently operating under restricted guidelines.

For the time being, visitors are not permitted inside the office, and only 25 percent of our office staff is present at any given moment. Others are working from home, as they have been for nearly 12 weeks, and we have seen no interruptions in our workflow.

As an agricultural business, we were deemed “essential” early on, and have taken extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of our staff. The Tihonet area remains closed to visitors; permit holders will be notified when their return is allowed.

It’s a good time to remind everyone that this is our workplace! In these times of social distancing, please avoid walking around these bogs if you see us out working. Stay safe!