Wild Cranberries

When we think about Thanksgiving, often turkey and cranberries are some of the first things to come to mind. It’s not surprising that two of the main dishes associated with this harvest celebration can both be found in the wild. Both wild turkey and wild cranberry can be found naturally at Dyken Pond Center.

Wild cranberry grows in bogs, fens and other wet forest habitats. It is often found growing on mats of sphagnum moss (as in the photo above) and can be found in Dyken Pond’s fen. Cranberry goes by many names; such as sassamenesh (Algonquin) and ibimi (Wampanoag and Lenni-Lenape). Its many Native American names roughly translate to “bitter” or “sour berries”. Cranberries have been used historically for dyes, medicine, and of course food. Birds, rodents, hares and bear all feed on wild cranberries. If only they knew how much better they are cooked up with a little sugar!