Cranberry Senior Pt 2

Cranberry Senior Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. At 85 years old, Malcom McPhail is the state of Washington’s most senior cranberry grower. He and his wife Ardell began growing cranberries outside of Ilwaco, in Pacific County, back in 1985.

After dabbling in cranberries for a while, McPhail, says he took an early retirement to begin his 27-year adventure …

McPHAIL … “I was an extension agent for 15 years in Chehalis. I worked in four counties, this being one of the counties. And, I quit that to become a full-time cranberry grower in 1985.”

But, McPhail says he didn’t come by that notion all by himself …

McPHAIL … “Incidentally, my wife was an extension agent also. And so, we retired together, early retirement, I guess you’d call it.”

And at a youthful 85, McPhail says he’s still out there with his crew doing the work …

McPHAIL … “I sat up in an elevator 73 times last year. So, we’d harvest two bogs on a given day, maybe three, depending on circumstances.”

And, it doesn’t sound like something the McPhail’s are ready to give up any time soon…

McPHAIL … “Listen, I love it, we love it, yeah. And, she’s on a grower council committee with Ocean Spray. And, of course, we’re not traveling now with the COVID. It’s all online.”

Given this year’s weather challenges, McPhail estimates they’ll harvest about 16 to 18-thousand barrels of cranberries, down a bit from last year’s record 22-thousand barrels, grown on their 120-plus acres.

Previous ReportCranberry Senior Pt 1
Next ReportVaccination Rates Pt 1