Last updated: Summer, 2016
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Cranberry blossoms appear in late June and into July at Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh in Bala, Muskoka, Ontario. It’s one of the prettiest times of year here because the cranberry beds take on a blush of pink.
Cranberries are named for their flower. Early settlers thought it looked like the head of a crane, so they called them ‘crane berries.’ Over time, the name was shortened to cranberry.
Each cranberry upright produces 5-7 flowers, which, if all goes well, will form into 3-5 cranberries. Good pollination is critical to berry formation, so we bring in bee hives to help. Our local bee population was strong this year, but winters can sometimes be hard on them, and we want to make sure we have lots of pollinators. Each grain of pollen a bee brings to the blossom means another seed in the cranberry, and cranberries need at least 20 seeds to be viable.
When blossom is over, we collect the honey from the hives and sell this cranberry honey in our store. It sells out every year.
This year, we had lots of blossoms, which makes it look like it’s going to be a good crop. Stay tuned!