Commissioner Gregory C. Watson
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
Thinking about Massachusetts-grown vegetables usually has folks thinking summer outdoor farmers’ markets and farm stands. But there is in fact an impressive array of fresh root vegetables available throughout the cold winter months as well. Think beets, carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, and turnips! Roasted to sweet tenderness in a hot oven for about 45-50 minutes, root vegetables provide comfort-food goodness and vital nutrients during the long winter months.
With 40 winter farmers’ markets located throughout the Bay State, there are lots of places where you can find sweet root vegetables. The colorful assortment of fresh produce one can find at these winter markets (both indoors and outdoors) always renews my appreciation of New England’s versatile seasons. Besides root vegetables, many of the winter markets also provide ‘hoophouse’ (a structure used as a greenhouse to extend the growing season) vegetables like chard, collards, lettuce, and radicchio. And more good news: a growing number of markets also accept EBT-SNAP coupons (formally called food stamps) for low income families looking for nutritious supplements.
I’m definitely going to try this delicious-sounding roasted veggie recipe featured in ChopChop’s January magazine. This monthly publication is a wonderful resource for easy-to-prepare healthy meals for the whole family. This recipe calls for onions, carrots, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. For extra flavor, consider adding fresh garlic and sprinkling with some fresh herbs like rosemary. Or throw in some Brussels sprouts (my favorite vegetable). Bon appétit!
1 red onion, diced
2 russet potatoes or sweet potatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Turn the oven on and set it to 425 degrees.
- Put the onion, carrots, potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the bowl and mix well.
- Dump the contents of the bowl into the baking sheet, making sure the vegetables are in a single layer, not crowded on top of each other.
- Carefully put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the vegetables are deeply colored on the outside and tender inside, about 45 minutes.
- Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: April posted on May 14
A lamb at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton. Photo by David Cawston April’s contest winner was David Cawston who photographed a spring lamb at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton. The Cummings School of …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: April
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Heath, MA. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Heath. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February