Connecticut is a special place…
As Michael Bell, author of ‘The Face of Connecticut’ wrote:
“Today, fewer than one percent of Connecticut’s citizens farm the land, and most of what we eat is imported (although the remaining farms continue to be very productive). This figure reflects the rise of industrial society with all the great advances in living that we now enjoy, but it also represents an increasing isolation of Connecticut’s people from their natural heritage.”
While the topography and the soils of Connecticut are generally not suited for cranberries on a scale like the major production areas in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Washington, pockets of terrain exist that can foster cranberries, a native american plant. They grow and thrive best in pure sand, at a pH of 4.5 to 5.5, sitting on top of clay soils that retain the water table within 12 to 18 inches , with a dike system that allows the area to be flooded for winter protection and the fall harvest. A plentiful water source is needed to provide an acre-inch of water a week during the summer.
Killingworth Cranberries is the only existing CT location known that has ever grown cranberries in a larger then ‘backyard’ scale. We have accepted the challenge to continue cranberry production in CT, and diversify the fresh local foods produced by our Bishop’s Orchards farm family, and provide them to you at our Farm Market.
the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care : stewardship of natural resources
The Bishop Family continues the passion of the Evarts Family to wisely use as well as protect our natural resources while utilizing the richness of the land to produce local food. The engineered renovation of the south 4.5 acres of the original 25+ acres of production created a pond, irrigation and drainage system that allows for independent water control of the 2.5 acres of cranberries.
1934 Aerial Photo of Pond Meadow, from the archives of the CT State Library
Today’s production is in the dark area just below and to the left of the center of this photo. The larger former production area above this is now owned by the Killingworth Land Trust.
View looking East-Southeast. The ‘wild’ bog to the left is the north side. Note the drainage ditches to match the irregular shapes to the 1934 photo.