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!
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12
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
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!
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?