Cindy and Matt Rhodes

Edgewood Bogs and Cape Cod Select
Carver, MA

Cindy and Matt Rhodes

Edgewood Bogs and Cape Cod Select

Carver, MA

Products Raised or Grown: Cranberries

Size of Operation:  200 acres

Years in Business: 6

Farm Credit Partner: Farm Credit East

Years Working with Farm Credit: 6

With a crop whose vines can produce fruit for 100 years or more, one cranberry farmer took what might seem like a radical approach with his established bogs – revamping them from the ground up.

Matt Rhodes purchased his family’s bogs in 2005, and after selling half his acreage, he implemented a long-term vision to increase both efficiencies and yields by consolidating and reconfiguring the bogs and planting hybrids in place of the existing native varieties, which effectively doubled his per-acre production. “I realized that rectangular bogs would be more efficient to manage and harvest,” he says. “We decided when we took over that that was going to be how we’d compete – we’d become much more efficient cranberry growers.”

Matt and his wife, Cindy, are more than growers, though – they’ve introduced their own retail line, Cape Cod Select, that packages and sells their fruit both domestically and internationally. One further innovation was the introduction in 2010 of packaged, frozen cranberries. “People asked me for years why there weren’t frozen cranberries out there in the market,” says Cindy. “I was determined to make it happen.” Sales have taken off, with their frozen products now available across the country.

Cape Cod Select markets only about one-third of their crop, with the remainder sold to a wholesale handler. The Rhodes’ long-term goal is to increase retail sales to 100% of their crop, becoming a fully self-sufficient operation rather than relying on commodity prices set by the handler.

Another way they’re increasing their self-reliance is by installing solar power, financed with a combination of grants and personal funding through Farm Credit East. “We wanted to do the right thing,” says Matt. “The farm and our production facility consume a lot of energy, and we wanted to reduce our carbon footprint.” Their solar array provides half of their power right now, and a planned expansion in the spring will increase the power generated to cover 100% of their energy use. More, the Rhodes realize that as they achieve their goal to increase their retail production, their energy use will also go up – and they plan to expand their solar power installation to keep pace.

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