- Friday, March 13, 3 pm: Susan Playfair, author of “America’s Founding Fruit: The Cranberry in a New Environment”
The cranberry is one of only three cultivated fruits native to North America. The story of this perennial vine began as the glaciers retreated about fifteen thousand years ago. Centuries later, it kept Native Americans and Pilgrims alive through the winter months, played a role in a diplomatic gesture to King Charles in 1677, protected sailors on board whaling ships from scurvy, fed General Grant’s men in 1864, and provided over a million pounds of sustenance per year to our World War II doughboys. Today, it is a powerful tool in the fight against various forms of cancer. T America’s Founding Fruit presents a brief history of cranberry cultivation and its role in our national history, discusses the entire cultivation process from planting through distribution, and assesses the possible effects of climate change on the cranberry and other plants and animals.