All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Other Maine Berry

Rick and Linda Woodward are growing something unusual on their North Waterford farm. The Massachusetts natives have moved their Woodward Cranberry Farm to Maine.

The Woodwards don't flood their fields at harvest time, but allow visitors to hand-pick the organically-grown berries for $5 a bucket. What's left over is sold at local markets and to restaurants. The farm will be open every weekend in October.

The Woodwards' farm is unusual for Oxford County, but not unique in Maine. There are about 35 cranberry farms operating in the state, though only a few follow organic practices. UM Cooperative Extension offers helpful information on growing cranberries, and reports that an estimated 20,254 barrels (more than a thousand tons) were produced in Maine last year, eighty percent of them in Washington County. Two Maine blueberry processors—Jasper Wyman & Son of Milbridge and Cherryfield Foods—buy up most of the cranberries harvested here.

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