Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
Along a park next to the Boston Children’s Museum earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the first Boston Local Food Festival. After days of steady rain, the clouds cleared for a perfect fall day, which allowed upward of 30,000 visitors to enjoy the spectacular outdoor event. Months of planning by the Sustainable Business Network and the Boston Food Council went off without a hitch. The food, health and agricultural communities came together for this event to celebrate the vibrant food culture in Boston.
More than 120 restaurants, non-profit organizations, specialty food companies and farms participated in the festival! Blue Heron Organic and Red Fire Farms intermingled with restaurants like 3 Little Pigs and Stone Hearth Pizza. But the bounty didn’t end there. There were 45 specialty food vendors like Ben’s Sugar Shack, Hedgie’s Hot Stuff and Taza Chocolate, all with samples that kept you coming back for more. And of course DAR was there to promote fresh food from farms across the Commonwealth.
The first Boston Local Food Festival was truly a landmark. It was a celebration of all that Boston and Massachusetts have to offer by way of healthy and delicious food. And as indicated by organizations in attendance it was a signal that the city is committed to making healthy food a top priority.
Here's some suggestions from our friends at the Department of Public Health on their blog about how to make healthy eating a part of your dinner menu.
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.