New Jersey’s Pine Barrens helps make New Jersey the third largest cranberry producing state. Its cranberries have been dubbed “The Rubies of the Pines” since at least 1991.
Union County College Biology Department
The Rubies of the Pines
Common Names: American Cranberry, Large Cranberry
Scientific Name: Vaccinium macrocarpon
Explanation of Scientific Name:
Vaccinium - ancient Latin name of the Blueberry
macrocarpon - large fruited
Today, Wisconsin is the largest cranberry producing state. Massachusetts is second in production, followed by New Jersey. Our state produces as much as 58 million pounds of cranberries a year worth over 30 million dollars on 3700 acres located in the Pine Barrens regions of Burlington, Ocean, and Atlantic counties. The nickname for cranberries in New Jersey, “Rubies of the Pines”, reflects their exclusive cultivation in the sandy soil and acidic waters of the Pine Barrens.
Wikipedia: Pine Barrens (New Jersey)
The Pine Barrens, also known as the Pinelands, is a heavily forested area of coastal plain stretching across southern New Jersey. The name “pine barrens” refers to the area’s sandy, acidic, nutrient-poor soil, to which the crops originally imported by European settlers didn’t take well. These uncommon conditions enable the Pine Barrens to support a unique and diverse spectrum of plant life, including orchids and carnivorous plants. The area is also notable for its populations of rare pygmy Pitch Pines and other plant species that depend on the frequent fires of the Pine Barrens to reproduce. The sand that composes much of the area’s soil is referred to by the locals as sugar sand.
The only industries that still thrive in the Pine Barrens are related to agriculture and tourism. The Pine Barrens is the reason New Jersey grows the third-highest number of cranberries in the country, mostly attributed to the areas around Chatsworth, including Whitesbog which is north of Chatsworth. The first cultivated blueberries were developed in the Pine Barrens in 1916 through the work of Elizabeth White of Whitesbog, and blueberry farms are now almost as common as cranberry bogs.
17 November 1991, Roanoke (VA) Times, “Serve a bit of Jersey with Thanksgiving,” pg. E9:
Cranberries are to New Jersey as oranges are to Florida. Known as “rubies of the pines,” cranberries can be found growing wild throughout the Pine Barrens and as…
Cranberries are “Rubies of the Pines”
Posted on November 26th, 2008 by Sharon Sweeny in Fruit, fall
Cranberries grow on small, evergreen shrubs and are sometimes called the “Rubies of the Pines.” Vaccinium macrocarpon is what the botanists call them. Native American Indians consider cranberries a symbol of peace.
Native to North America and grown only on this continent, cranberries can be found growing on the East Coast from Newfoundland south to North Carolina and west to Minnesota. Cranberries grow best in Zones 2 to 5.
New York City • Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Tuesday, November 23, 2010 • Permalink