Book Review: The American Cranberry

November 19, 2010

I was hoping to do a review on a cranberry themed cookbook today, but the only cranberry book I could turn up between two library systems was The American Cranberry by Paul Eck, published in 1990.

Inside the jacket cover sums it up well: Paul Eck provides a clear and comprehensive account for all expects of cranberry biology, ecology, cultivation, economics, and history. His book will be indispensable to cranberry growers, botanists, and horticultural students and scientists.”

Honestly, I’ve thought about planting cranberries, but there really isn’t much information on growing them. I thought I could find something in gardening books, but they avoid the topic or only write one or two pages on the topic. That is why this book is so valuable – it is a 350 page book dedicated just to growing cranberries. In fact, this book appears as a reference in some of the links provided below.

The book chapters are organized as follows: history, industry, botany, plant improvement, enivonrment, plant growth and development, plant nutrition, culture, diseases, insects, harvesting and handling, and a final chapter in economics, marketing, and utilization.

The book is has black and white photographs, and the first couple of chapters have lots of tables talking about cranberry production over the years by major cranberry producing states. From there, it gets technical, showing cranberry blossoms and fruit, talking about soil acity, and other things. There is even a diagram on how to create a cranberry dam to turn land into a bog. Everything you ever wanted to know about growing cranberries are found in this book, including diseases and pests, how to fertilize, different methods of harvesting, and even the economics of cranberry production. Eck even throws in some recipes on cranberry sauce, cranberry jelly, cranberry orange relish, and cranberry nut bread at the end. I’m sure every cranberry farmer has a copy of this book.

Further Reading:

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