Post Content

Commissioner Scott Soares

Commissioner Scott Soares

Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)

View Commissioner Soares’ Bio

#flickr_badge_source_txt {padding:0; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif; color:#666666;} #flickr_badge_icon {display:block !important; margin:0 !important; border: 1px solid rgb(0, 0, 0) !important;} #flickr_icon_td {padding:0 5px 0 0 !important;} .flickr_badge_image {text-align:center !important;} .flickr_badge_image img {border: 1px solid black !important;} #flickr_www {display:block; padding:0 10px 0 10px !important; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif !important; color:#3993ff !important;} #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:hover, #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:link, #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:active, #flickr_badge_uber_wrapper a:visited {text-decoration:none !important; background:inherit !important;color:#3993ff;} #flickr_badge_wrapper {border: solid 1px #000000} #flickr_badge_source {padding:0 !important; font: 11px Arial, Helvetica, Sans serif !important; color:#666666 !important;}

Last month, I enjoyed a welcome alternative to the sometimes stressful end-of-year holiday hustle and bustle! A Christmas Tree Farm, and not a mall, is traditionally where the Commissioner of Agricultural Resources heads the day after Thanksgiving a.k.a. Black Friday. And so it was at Radebaugh Farm in Belchertown that I found myself November 26th to take part in the annual tree cutting ceremony to kick off the holiday season.

It had rained overnight and when I arrived I was greeted by the spectacularly fresh scent of Fraser Fir needles wafting on the chilly damp air. While there, I also had the pleasure of meeting the Murphy family and I think it’s fair to say that young Mr. Murphy was having a lot more fun picking out his MassGrown & Fresher Christmas tree than being inside a stuffy mall!

Did you know that there are over 200 Christmas tree farms in Massachusetts that are helping to preserve 5,000 acres of open space? Or that new trees are replanted each year and a green alternative to fake trees made with petroleum byproducts? From locally grown Christmas trees and poinsettias to turkeys, eggs, maple syrup, and more, getting to know a local farmer and enhancing your holidays with locally harvested products is a gift worth giving and receiving.

Find a fresh Christmas tree farm near you.

Information about how to find locally grown and produced holiday agricultural products.

Written By:

Recent Posts

The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17

The View from Massachusetts

While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12

2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September

September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of   …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September

Calling All Shuckers! posted on Sep 3

Calling All Shuckers!

Do you know where the oysters you ate at the raw bar last night were grown? Do you know how oysters are grown? Oysters naturally inhabited the eastern coast dating back to the 1700s, but due to over-harvesting, disease, and habitat loss, wild oysters have   …Continue Reading Calling All Shuckers!