There will be no "Red October" at Double Trouble State Park this year.
The leaseholders for several of the nearly 100-year-old cranberry bogs have decided not to go through with the harvest this year, because of poor weather during 2013 that affected crop yield, said state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Robert Considine.
"Honest Berries has decided that there is not going to be a harvest at Double Trouble this year after all," he said. "Apparently, the weather was not conducive for cranberry growing. There’s some fruit out there, but not enough for a harvest."
Honest Berries conducted a limited harvest last year, after the state granted the Southampton-based company a special use permit. Co-owner Joseph Brandt said last October the company hoped to sign a long-term lease for the historic bogs.
Considine said earlier this year the company had been maintaining the bogs and would harvest the berries this October. The limited 2012 harvest was not completed due to general damage at Double Trouble caused by Superstorm Sandy.
This year's harvest was hampered by cold temperatures in the spring and an excessive amount of rain in the summer, which could cause the berries to rot.
This is the second time in three years that Double Trouble's bogs have lain fallow. There was no harvest in 2011 because no leaseholders stepped up.
Cranberry bogs need to be maintained by weeding, fertilization and spraying. Usually cranberry companies can expect to pull between 150 to 250 barrels from a single bog. But in 2012, Brandt said he would be lucky to get 50 barrels."This place will need more upkeep to get it back to where it was," Brandt said then.
The Leni-Lenape Indians were the first to harvest cranberries in the park. But the Double Trouble cranberry industry began to flourish at the beginning of the 20th century.
But the Double Trouble cranberry industry began to flourish at the beginning of the 20th century, when Edward Crabbe first cut down cedar for his flourishing lumber business.
As the marshes were gradually cleared of cedar, Crabbe decided to make cranberries his primary business, his grandson Daniel Crabbe has said.
"They really went all out with the cranberries," Crabbe said during a talk at the Berkeley Township Historical Society last year. "He built the packing house. He laid it out and built it himself. It was one of the most modern packing and sorting houses. They took the cranberry vines and placed them in the bog area. At the end, there were eight separate bogs."
During its halycon days, the Double Trouble Company employed five full-timers year round and between 50 to 60 seasonal employees for the harvest. The Crabbe family sold the Double Trouble tract to the state in 1964, for use as a state park.
The state then leased the bogs to private companies for many years.