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Michigan Cranberries & Cranberry Farming

Thanksgiving is just a week away, so we’re rolling out a classic feature on cranberries! 

Cranberries by argusmaniac
Cranberries by argusmaniac

Although Michigan only has a small number of cranberry farms in the northeast, Upper Peninsula, and the southwestern corner of the state along Lake Michigan totaling about 250 acres – compared to more than 18,000 acres in nation-leading Wisconsin – the state does have all the requirements to grow a cranberry industry. 

The Cranberry Institute has lots of information about the official fruit of Thanksgiving including the purported health benefits of cranberries. Although it’s probably not what you’ll put on your table next Thursday, Locavorious has a tasty Michigan Cranberries in Cranberry Apple Pork Loin Roast along with some information about Michigan cranberry farms. You can get a nice recipe for cranberry pie from Michigan-based Kitchen Chick.

Michigan’s leading producer is  Centennial Cranberry Farm way up on Whitefish Point (near Paradise, MI), and their site is loaded with cranberry information & recipes. In closing, here’s a simple recipe that you can make with 100% Michigan ingredients. We tested this recipe out in the Absolute Michigan kitchen last year and are happy to report that it’s delicious!!

Baked Cranberry Acorn Squash

4 small acorn squash
1 cup chopped apple
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup Michigan maple syrup
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place cut side down in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Turn cut side up. Combine remaining ingredients; fill squash with fruit mixture. Continue baking for 25 minutes or till squash is tender. Makes 8 servings.