Large amounts of rain make for an 'interesting' cranberry growth seasonSubmitted: 06/19/2017
Large amounts of rain make for an 'interesting' cranberry growth season
Dakota Sherek
Dakota Sherek

MANITOWISH WATERS - Each year brings a new challenge to the cranberry growing season.

The large amount of rain throughout the Northwoods in the past couple of months has brought with it some positives and some negatives, according to one family-owned cranberry company.

Steven Bartling has known the cranberry business his whole life. He is the fourth-generation owner of Bartling's Manitowish Cranberry, and he says this year's growth season has been interesting. 

But Bartling thinks all the rain this season has actually helped more than hurt the plants.

"It hasn't had much effect on the crop itself, because they're a pretty water-tolerant plant. They're not an aquatic plant, so they don't grow wet, but they're damp all the time, so it's been good for that," said Bartling.

Plus, Bartling says it has helped the overall water levels, too.

"Over the last 10 years or so, it's kind of been a drier time, and this has really brought our water tables back up to where the average is, so we're really fortunate for that," Bartling said. 

But that doesn't mean the rain hasn't had any effect on the crop. With the cranberry plants about to bloom, the rain is hindering the company's special "business partners."

"We're just coming into pollination and our bees...they don't work in the rain, so we need nice, warm 70-degree sunny not very windy days for our honeybees to do effective pollinating, and if it's raining, they won't be doing that," said Bartling.

Despite the slight setback, Bartling says they are still on schedule for the growing season.

"We've got no control over Mother Nature, and we just have to play every day as it comes and do our best to manage around what the day brings, so it's always a challenge."

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RHINELANDER - This time of year, winter activies start to wind down and the summer fun hasn't quite started yet.

That's why Fisher's Resort and Bar on Lake George in Rhinelander enjoys having it's annual ice golf tournament each year.

"In year's past, March is always kind of a slower season up here in the Northwoods so we figured we'd create an event and put efforts towards a local organization," said Fisher's Resort and Bar owner, Russ Fisher.

That local organization they raise money for is the Hodag Sno-trails snowmobile club.

This year, the tournament had it's biggest turn out.

30 teams came to play, including first timer Dennis Herrmann who lives right across the lake.

"This has nothing to do with golf, I can tell you that right now. But it's a challenge for all the obvious reasons. But you do it for the charity, you do it for the fun and it gives everybody the chance to get out," said Herrmann.

This year they cut it down from 18 holes to 13 so people could get inside faster to enjoy the chili and the raffle items after their round of golf.

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The Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau decided to combine the two and host an annual brew fest. 

Andy Ledesma is the head brewer at Red Eye Brewing Company in Wausau. The Granite Peak Brew Fest is one of the many perks of his job.

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He definitely wasn't alone serving more than 40 beers on Saturday. 

Jeff Geurink works for South Shore Brewery in Ashland. They've been around for 20 years, but they wanted to make this brew fest a part of their line up.

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Something everyone will remember from the brew fest was the set-up.

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"I think it definitely helped that when they get to the bottom of the hill, you see a bunch of beer," said beer salesman Jesse Bartnik.

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This year's kindness week in Eagle River wrapped up Friday with a musical assembly with Dave Dall.

Throughout the week, students were challenged to do random acts of kindness.

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Kryder is under investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

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