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Cranberry Harvest At Double Trouble State Park Unlikely This Year

This would be the second season no leaseholders have stepped up

The acres and acres of bogs at Double Trouble Start Park are dotted with the tiny pale pink flowers that will soon be transformed into crimson cranberries by early October.

But this year, like 2011, it's unlikely there will be anyone to harvest the berries. No leaseholders for the bogs have stepped forward for the 2012 harvest, said Robert Considine, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

"If we decide to lease the bogs, it would be doubtful that the lease would be finalized in time for someone to be able to harvest cranberries in October, as the lease would have to be approved by the State House Commission, whose next meeting is in September," Considine said.

That was disappointing news to purchased the Double Trouble tract back in 1904. He first ran a successful lumber company, then branched out into the cranberry business. The Crabbe family sold Double Trouble to the state of New Jersey for $300,000.

Daniel Crabbe even suggests that the state lease the bogs to interested companies for a dollar a year, rather than leaving the berries in the fields to rot.

"It's a tradition," he said of the cranberry harvest. "I might say something."

The park staff has kept the water levels in the bogs at the appropriate level since the last harvest in 2010, Considine said.

"The Park's maintenance staff has been doing everything they can to control the water so that the bogs remain viable and stave off eutrophication," he said.

Cranberry plants are "very hardy," Crabbe said.

"They will survive," he said. "They can survived a couple of years without being harvested. If they can find someone for 2013, that should be okay. Maybe not as big a harvest than if they were maintained. Once in a while, my father would leave a bog flooded. He said that would regenerate it."

After the sale to the state, Crabbe's father leased several bogs from the state and continued to harvest berries for the next seven years.

"He made a little money with the wet harvesting," Crabbe said.

Other farmers leased the Double Trouble bogs from the state for many decades. But the last leaseholder opted out in 2011. Last autumn was the first time in more than 150 years there was no cranberry harvest at Double Trouble.

Do you think the state should consider Mr. Crabbe's suggestion? Take our poll below!

h June 25, 2012 at 08:08 PM
This proves how much this state cares about our environment and history.
Laci June 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM
The state of NJ probably in the bid package had so many rules,regulations, registration and licensing requirements that not even Ocean Spray was interested. Flood the bogs at harvesting time and put a "U Pick-It" sign out by the road.
designs ocean June 26, 2012 at 12:10 AM
If there were cheeseburgers in the bog, Governor Christie would make sure the harvest was a success. All those $ millions for tax abatements for corporations, but nothing for the history and legacy of tradition and parkland in South Jersey. Shame !
Lowmal June 26, 2012 at 01:02 AM
HAR HAR HAR! GAFF-AW GAFF-AW GAFF-AW! Good one, designs! Make fun of the man's diet 'cause you have spit for thought. This state is in the crapper from decades of Democratic fiscal malfeasance. You doubt that, you're in denial. Unfortunately, EVERYTHING needs to be cut now so in the future, we'll have enough funds for services, including parks. Wanna help? Go volunteer at a park instead of barking like a frothing dog. You know what? You won't. You'll continue to sit behind your screen, type out your drivel, and carp about someone who is attempting to clean up the mess of past spend-o-crats that you no doubt pushed the button for in the election booth. Keep posting your well thought-out diatribes with your orange, Cheese-Doodle covered digits while others try to correct the mess that is New Jersey. BTW, they DO have shots for rabies now.
Jimbo June 26, 2012 at 02:58 AM
If they are not going to be leased the year, why not let the public pick a bucket? Used to be that way many years back. They do something similar at IBSP for the beach plums. Just needs a little organization I'm sure the naturalist at DBSP can handle.
Jon June 26, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Good idea! Why let the tasty cranberries go to waste?! There should be a Cranberry Festival held at Double Trouble, much like the Plumfest at IBSP. There could be healthy foods (for example Jersey Fresh produce), crafts, and small business advertisement included in the festival!
sc June 26, 2012 at 05:01 PM
i asked about volunteering at Double Trouble.....no program exists and those in charge don't seem to have any interest in such a program.

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