Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
Get outside and visit one of your local farmers’ markets to taste a bit of the summer harvest, from sweet strawberries and crisp arugula to fresh eggs and farm-raised meats. From my office on Causeway Street in Boston, I like to stroll down to the farmers’ market at Dewey Square. Here at DAR we’re working to make these fresh foods accessible to everyone.
On June 22, I was honored to stand with Boston Mayor Menino, Margaret Williams of The Food Project, and Edith Murnane of Community Servings at the Dewey Square market to show our support for improved access to farmers’ markets for low income residents. Julia Kehoe, Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance, and I were happy to present Donald Wiest of the Boston Public Market a grant of $2,500 to make the market accessible to individuals that participate in SNAP (formerly known as food stamps). This funding will enable the purchase of an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machine that processes the benefits at the register.
This grant is one of 22 grants awarded across the state by DAR and the Department of Transitional Assistance. Additional funding was made possible by the Wholesome Wave Foundation and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to enable SNAP recipients to receive two for one on each dollar that they spend at a farmers’ market, up to $10. SNAP benefits can be used at 47 markets across the state.
The photo is of Julia, me and Mayor Menino making a corn and bean salsa. Here’s the recipe.
- 3 ripe, red tomatoes diced
- 4 green onions, diced
- 1 jalapeno or yellow chili pepper, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 T fresh oregano, chopped
- 4 medium ears of cooked corn cut off the cob (about two cups)
- 1 ½ cup cooked or canned (15 ounce can) black beans
- Wash and prepare vegetables and herbs.
- Combine vegetables, except corn, with herbs in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Stir in corn and black beans.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Visit Winter Farmers’ Markets for Holiday Gifts posted on Dec 5
While performers serenade shoppers with upbeat or easy-listening music, farmers and food producers sell a wide variety of local food throughout the winter at over 40 winter farmers’ markets this season. Those who have not yet visited a winter market might be surprised by …Continue Reading Visit Winter Farmers’ Markets for Holiday Gifts
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: December posted on Dec 4
December’s photo contest winner was Ruth Osgood, who photographed Cranston’s Christmas Tree Farm in Ashfield.
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: November posted on Nov 24
November’s photo contest winner was Liz West, who photographed the farm stand at Westview Farm in Boxborough. Have you ever been to a roadside farm stand with produce out for sale without someone working the register? Produce was probably priced on the shelves, and an old …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: November