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.
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.