CHATWORTH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — This is a great time of year if you like cranberries.
The industry is about halfway through the harvest season and many of them are grown in the Garden State.
Down a long dirt road in Burlington County is Cutts Brothers Cranberry Farm with 128 acres of land and 29 bogs.
“Being out here where there’s not a lot of development can ensure that our watershed is clean. We absolutely need clean water in order to grow our cranberries,” partner Shawn Cutts told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
The sandy, acidic soil of the wetlands is deal.
Cutts Brothers Cranberry Farm has been operating since 1906. Bill Cutts is a fourth-generation farmer. All of the workers at the farm are family.
“Every single person here is related by blood or marriage, so it’s the true family farm,” Bill Cutts said.
They built most of the machinery themselves and stay in small huts during the harvest.
“People do ask me about the Jersey Devil once in a while and I say that if he was real, we would have seen him out here because I think we’re about as deep in the pine barrens as you can get,” Shawn Cutts said.
Bill Cutts said one misconception about cranberries is they don’t actually grow in water.
“The bogs are dry during the growing season,” he said.
The bogs are flooded up to the top of the vines for the machine picking process.
“When they finish picking, then we’ll flood it up so everything floats free and we can gather it,” Bill Cutts said.
New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher says there are about 3,000 acres of cranberries in New Jersey. The state is the third largest producer of cranberries in the country.
Ninety-five percent of cranberries harvested in New Jersey are sold to the Ocean Spray Cooperative, so it’s likely the cranberry sauce, juice or Craisins on your Thanksgiving table are Jersey’s own.