Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
Last month, DCR Commissioner Lambert and I blogged about a new partnership to encourage people to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout 2012.
To this end, I made a personal pledge to lose twenty pounds over ten months – in time for an autumn-planned 2K run at a DCR state park or farm location. I’m happy to report that so far – via increased physical activity and eating healthier portions of food – I’m four pounds closer towards my goal!
Fortunately, as it relates to eating, healthier choices are becoming ever easier thanks to the growing number of year-round farmers’ markets in Massachusetts. For example, the Somerville or Cambridge Winter Farmers’ Markets offer apples, root vegetables, fresh bread, artisan cheeses, seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, local wines, and more. And if you don’t have to lose 20 pounds like I do, there is an appetizing array of baked goods and locally-made specialty foods like Coutts’ preserves, applesauce, and relishes. Our MassGrown & Fresher website offers a complete listing of winter farmers’ markets throughout the state.
This month, MassGrown & Fresher, in collaboration with ChopChop Magazine and Mass in Motion is featuring the sweet potato – a “sweet” and healthy treat for that someone special you know. One of the local farms that grow sweet potatoes is Red Fire Farm in Granby and whom we’ve spotlighted on our Faces of Massachusetts Agriculture page. Red Fire Farm is also a CSA (community Supported Agriculture). If you haven’t already, find out more about the benefits of being a part of a CSA so you can enjoy weekly shares of fresh, local produce during the growing season.
And of course following your healthy Valentine’s Day meal, don’t forget some of the great suggestions made by DCR in our last blog such as the many Healthy Heart Trails located in over 70 state parks across the state! Happy Valentine’s Day!
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.