The A.D. Makepeace Company, based in Wareham, is the world’s largest cranberry grower, the largest private property owner in eastern Massachusetts, and a recognized leader in environmentally responsible real estate development and stewardship. Cranberries are our heritage and our livelihood. Our 160-year history in the cranberry industry affects the way we do business, and it strengthens the communities we build.
LIFE on the BOG
Summer on the Bog
Click on the image for a video showing our summer season.
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!
Kevin Phelan of Colliers International, a real estate professional with more than four decades of experience in the Boston/New England market, was elected to the A.D. Makepeace Company Board of Directors at the annual shareholders’ meeting in May.