Chatsworth (Woodland Township) considers itself part of the "heart" of the pinelands. It is located among the beautiful Pine Barrens of New Jersey, a region stretching from Brendan T. Byrne (formerly called Lebanon) State Forest to the Forked River Mountains area and out to Long Beach Island, Barnegat and Tuckerton along the shore.
It is an area known for it's cranberry bogs which supply well-known processors and distributors of cranberry products such as Ocean Spray. Cranberries are harvested in October and it is a fascinating and unique way of harvesting. If you are driving in the area during that time you will be able to observe the cranberry bogs as they are being harvested.
Cranberries are grown commercially in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey on approximately 3,911 acres. Production is centered around the town of Chatsworth, located in Burlington County. The majority of the remaining farms were located in the nearby Atlantic and Ocean counties. (Source: IPM)
In celebration of the harvest, Chatsworth puts on an annual weekend Cranberry Festival that is well-known and popular, drawing people from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
Click here for more details about Chatworth, Cranberries and the Cranberry Festival
Additional links about Cranberries, Chatworth area, Pinelands:
History Of The Cranberry In New Jersey
Chatsworth - Capitol of the Pinelands
Cranberries - The Rubies of the Pines
St. Petersburg Times Article: Of Bog and Berry
The Pinelands, or Pine Barrens, of New Jersey
Quick Facts About the Cranberry:
Of course, cranberries are not only colorful, they’re good for you, according to the Rutgers Blueberry & Cranberry Research Center, also in Chatsworth. High in vitamin C and anti-oxidants, they are no longer limited to juice and canned jelly, but now are dried and packaged in cereals, muffin and pancake mixes and many other dishes.
Native Americans mixed cranberries with deer meat to make pemmican, a convenience food that could be kept for a long time. Medicine men used them as poultices to draw poison from arrow wounds, and women used the juice as a dye for cloth. In New Jersey, the Delaware Indians used them as peace symbols. They got their name, “crane berries,” from the early German and Dutch settlers who thought their blossoms resembled the neck and head of a crane.
When Cranberry grower, Elizabeth Lee of New Egypt, decided to boil some damaged berries instead of throwing them away, she liked the tasty jelly so much she started a business selling "Bog Sweet Cranberry Sauce." That was the beginning of the Ocean Spray company, which still operates in New Jersey today! (Source: NJ Travel & Tourism)
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