Meet Our Growers
Edgewood Bogs LLC/ Cape Cod Select
At a picnic table under a shady tree with acres of cranberry bogs as a picturesque backdrop, CCCGA recently sat down to chat with James, Jarrod and Patrick Rhodes from Edgewood Bogs LLC and Cape Cod Select. The three brothers are 4th generation cranberry growers from Carver.
As in any family, each brother has his own strengths which have helped guide them into working in different areas of the company. James, 29, studied business in college and is in charge of growing, scouting and pesticides. Jarrod, 27, has an economics degree and handles excavation, building and site work. Pat, 24, has a degree in marketing and works on the selling end of the company.
Growing up on the bogs as part of a cranberry farming family, the brothers have many unique memories which brought laughter as they shared them. Jarrod remembers swimming in the ditches, frog catching and being reprimanded for walking the wrong way on the vines. Pat recalled the chatterbox calling all hours of the night and James told of frost nights with his dad. Jarrod and James laughed as they told us about getting ‘promoted’ to pulling maples on 40 acres for a whole summer.
When asked about the changes they’ve seen over the last 10 years, automation is what they view as the biggest and most useful change. They started using automation at their Queen property in 2004 and at the time it was the most technologically advanced in the nation. The advancement of chemicals for pest management and not killing bees is also seen as a plus for the industry.
Technology plays a big part in the Rhodes’ business. To them, it all comes down to efficiency. Ten years ago they downsized quite a bit to redesign and make things run more efficiently. Machinery is always evolving and the evolution of fertilizer is making a big change. All water is recycled and they are lucky to have spring fed ponds. Additionally, they started using a drone last year. They find it useful in scouting bogs and it comes in handy on the marketing end of the business.
Looking toward the future, one of the big challenges they see is the next generation workforce. Finding skilled labor and people who want to do it will be the challenge. Even today, people who can build and fix machinery just on their own are scarce. They envision Agriculture schools being a big deal for the future and the Rhodes brothers are very willing to help with teaching kids about the cranberry farming industry.