It’s a little fruit that’s a big part of Wisconsin Rapid’s economy. The area is the largest inland producing cranberry region in the world, producing nearly 30 percent of the world’s cranberries.
Just 15 miles west of Wisconsin Rapids sits Glacial Lakes Cranberries, one of the oldest cranberry marshes in central Wisconsin.
Mary Brazeau-Brown, owner of Glacial Lakes Cranberries explains the reason behind the business’ name. “This is the northern shore of what used to be old Glacial Lake; a huge lake that was 150 feet deep was right here in the middle of the state."
The lake disappeared many years ago but left behind the perfect environment for cranberries.
She says each cranberry blossom sprouts pink flowers which develop into a dark red cranberry by the months of August and September. This year has been unique because of the warm weather early in the season. Brazeau-Brown says due to the early season bees had to be brought in to aid in pollinating the fruit.
The cranberry industry is one of the oldest industries in the state. The high water table, available sand, and acid soil conditions give the Wisconsin Rapids area an advantage to helping the cranberries grow.
Glacial Lake Cranberries give tours to the public throughout the blossom and harvest season. They’re located at 2480 County Road D in Wisconsin Rapids. To schedule a tour call (715) 887-4161.
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