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!
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. 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 Health. 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
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January