Cranberries mean Thanksgiving to most people. But they’re really nutritious and a great year-round snack. Cranberries don’t grow in water, but sandy soil.


Fun Facts

  • Cranberries are native to America. Early colonists harvested wild cranberries.
  • Cranberries grow best in sandy marshes and bogs with acidic soil. The plants are low-lying vines. In the fall, farmers flood cranberry fields with water. Each cranberry has a pocket of air inside it. When the fields are flooded, the cranberries rise to the surface where they can easily be raked and harvested.
  • Wisconsin grows more cranberries than any other state. Most cranberries are turned into juice or sauce. Dried cranberries are also popular.
  • Cranberries are a healthy food. They’re known for treating bladder infections.
  • Cranberries are high in vitamin C and they’re a good source of antioxidants.
  • Cranberry plantings will continue growing for 100 years or more if given proper care.
  • Native Americans added cranberries to pemmican. They also made a poultice from cranberries to draw poison from arrow wounds. The bright red color was used to make fabric dyes.
  • Sailors took barrels of cranberries aboard ship on long voyages. Because cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, they could prevent scurvy.
  • Cranberries are very tart. They are usually sweetened with sugar, maple syrup, or honey.



  1. Bog: a sandy, damp area
  2. Pemmican: a high energy food made by combining dried, ground meat with melted fat and berries
  3. Scurvy: a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C


Questions and Answers

Question: Are cranberries good to eat raw?

Answer: Eating raw cranberries won’t hurt you, but they are quite tart. Try one and see if you like it.


Learn More

Visit a cranberry farm in Wisconsin.