Coquille Indian Tribe
• Principles: Coquille Indian Tribe
• Farm Name: Coquille Cranberries
• Location: North Bend, Oregon
• Size: 10 acres certified organic since 1998
• Crop: Cranberries
Our bogs are on Coquille Tribal land near the mouth of the Coos River and about a mile and one half from the Pacific Ocean. They have been farmed organically from the day of planting; not transitioned from "conventional" chemically farmed bogs. Our vines are Stevens Hybrid variety from Wisconsin; somewhat sweeter than other types of Cranberries and larger in size. Because of our nearly ideal coastal growing climate, our fruit tends to have much more color than fruit grown in other parts of the U.S. and Canada and is typically a dark purple at full ripeness.
Cranberries are typically grown and farmed in beds averaging about 1.5 acres in size. Beds are engineered to be flat and often terraced to conserve water during flooding. They are called bogs because one technique for picking them involves flooding the beds at harvest time and allowing the fruit to float to the surface where it is gathered by various techniques. Cranberry vines need to be dry and well drained during the active growing season on the Oregon Coast, from about April until November. They typically grow best in soil that is comprised mostly of sand. The vines resemble a thick ground cover and are about 8-10" deep. Vines begin growth in the spring and bloom in April and May. Each vine puts out small buds on parts of the plant called uprights. During the bloom the flowers are susceptible to frost. The vines are green in the spring and as the fruit ripens in the fall and the vines go dormant again, they turn a beautiful shade of magenta.
Our cranberries recently reached full maturity and production. We carefully harvest our vine-ripened berries with hand operated machines for the holiday and seasonal fresh fruit market. Berries are cleaned of vines and leaves and immediately refrigerated to preserve quality and freshness. Most of our berries are sold as fresh fruit; however, as our bogs have matured and production has increased, we also flood harvest some bogs for juice and other processed cranberry products.
The Coquille Indian Tribe
grow and pack organic cranberries on Tribal land where they have lived for centuries. For the Coquille people, “community is our relationship with all that surrounds us, the land, the sea, the sky.” Their relationship with cranberries was altered in the mid-19th century, when miners and settlers poured into the valley and disrupted their traditional way of life. After losing much land and being marched north to the Siletz Reservation, settlers introduced cranberry cultivation and hired the Coquille and people from neighboring tribes for harvesting. The Coquille continued to function as a government and family and the Federal government restored tribal status in 1989. Today, the Tribe grows cranberries as part of its program of self-sufficiency.
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