What do Governor Deval Patrick, Sarah (pictured in the blue shorts) and little Aaliyah have in common? All love locally grown Massachusetts apples! This year’s apple crop yield is a good one with popular varieties such as the Macintosh, Honey Crisp, and Golden Delicious in crisp-and-sweet abundance!
Governor Patrick recently joined Secretary Rick Sullivan and Representative Harold Naughton for a visit to Northborough’s Tougas Farm to voice support for local agriculture in the Commonwealth. Owner Maurice Tougas was on hand to talk about the importance of preserving working landscapes and how new technology efficiencies are helping to keep Massachusetts farmers competitive. But in between “business discussions”, there was also opportunity for the Governor to take a ride around the farm for a tractor ride and then to take a walk through the apple orchard to pick his own bag of juicy, sweet apples. “There’s not a bad apple out there,” he smiled.
Sarah had more or less the same idea on a spectacularly clear, first-fall weekend day spent at Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro. Joined by her family, not only did Sarah help pick apples, she also enjoyed a hayride into the orchard. She and her brother then tried the hay maze and checked out tractor training school. And what would a day at a pick-your-own farm be without some savory local apple cider and apple cider doughnuts at the end? Find delicious apples at a Pick-Your-Own Farm near you!
Apple Fun Facts: The pilgrims planted the first US apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1623, William Blackstone planted seeds from Europe on Beacon Hill, Boston. Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the US behind oranges.
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.