With more than 400 growers producing nearly 25 percent of the nation's cranberry supply, cranberries are the number one food crop in Massachusetts. The A.D. Makepeace Company, based in Town of Wareham, is one of the world's largest cranberry growers and the largest private property owner in Massachusetts. They are also the largest grower-owner of Ocean Spray Cranberries. Makepeace and its subsidiaries have been in the business of growing cranberries since the 1800s, when Abel D. Makepeace established hundreds of acres of bog across southeastern Massachusetts and became known as “The Cranberry King.” Today, the company farms some 1,750 acres of bog in the Plymouth County towns of Carver, Middleborough, Plymouth, Rochester and Wareham.
A.D. Makepeace Company offers public, group and private cranberry bog tours throughout the year, during both the blossom season in the spring and the cranberry harvest season in the fall. Before or after a bog tour, groups can visit Makepeace Farms (closed until March) in Tihonet Village for cranberry-themed gifts, delicious sandwiches and salads, treats from their bakery, gourmet foods and cooking tools, specialty teas and coffees, and cookbooks.
What to expect on a private group tour:
Upon arrival, your group will be greeted and engaged in discussion with the tour director. If traveling by bus or motorcoach, guide(s) will board your coach and give a narrated tour as the group travels to the bog areas. If traveling in personal vehicles, guests will follow the guide’s vehicle through the bog areas. Typically, each tour stops at two to three locations for guests to step out and get an up-close look at the bog area. Very little walking is required and, if desired, guests may stay in their vehicles.
During the tour, guides will show the group examples of an existing bog, currently in production. Each season brings its own special sites around the bog. During the harvest season, every effort will be made to show the wet harvesting operation in detail. A.D. Makepeace Cranberry Company is in the process of renovating older bogs as well as building new bogs, so viewing may be included during the tour. Guides will discuss the yearly cycle of cranberry growing, the methods of harvesting, and offer insight on being a cranberry farmer. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussions throughout the tour.
A typical tour lasts approximately one hour and a half. All tours can be customized to meet groups’ time requirements. Each guest will be given a small cranberry goodie bag and invited to enjoy a picnic lunch on the A.D. Makepeace Company grounds after the tour. The picnic area is equipped with several picnic tables, multiple restrooms and trash receptacles.
Makepeace Farms Store Hours of Operation:
TUESDAY-SATURDAY 11 A.M. - 3 P.M.
Group & Private Tour Contact:
Kim Houdlette, Director of Events and Agritourism