Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
This Memorial Day Weekend, I’m excited to be partaking in one of my favorite New England spring-through-fall pastimes – going to Agricultural State Fairs! I’ll be headed to the Sheep and Woolcraft Fair in Cummington this Saturday (at Fairgrounds Road) for the kick-off of what is gearing up to be a great fairs season.
Did you know it was two Merino sheep that launched our Commonwealth’s rich and diverse history of fairs? In 1807, Massachusetts native Elkanah Watson decided to exhibit his animals at a public square in Pittsfield. A few years later, agricultural societies were established to sponsor and promote the state’s agricultural fairs of which DAR has been a big part.
Today, our agricultural fairs remain a favorite destination point for the more than 3 million residents and visitors each year.
The Commonwealth’s agricultural fairs feature highlights such as exhibits, livestock competitions and showings, farm-fresh food, and local crafts. Some fairs also have fireworks displays, tractor or pony rides, pig racing, and pie eating contests. There are also wine and beer making competitions, wood carving or cooking demonstrations, and concerts.
This year the American Automobile Association (AAA) has kindly partnered with us to also feature hard copies of our 2010 Fairs Brochure at their AAA clubs. Or, you can send an email request to receive a hard copy to Ellen.Hart@state.ma.us.
From fairs to farms to farmers’ markets, our Agri-Google map on our new MassGrown & Fresher website will connect you to all of your favorite agricultural destinations. www.mass.gov/massgrown
Whether you like the big fairs or the small community ones – I hope to see you there!
Plan a Day Trip – Right in Boston Harbor! posted on Aug 18
Looking for a fun day trip for you and possibly your family? Look no further, the Boston Harbor Islands are the place to be. Lots of events take place on these islands during the summer months, so enjoy these festivities while they are here! Spectacle …Continue Reading Plan a Day Trip – Right in Boston Harbor!
K-9 to the Rescue posted on Aug 13
At 5:35 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, Officer Art O’Connell got a call about two missing girls in Douglas State Park. Officer O’Connell, his partner Diesel and a back up state trooper had to search the 5,900-acre, nine square mile, park on foot, as the canopy of the trees was too thick to search via helicopter and the ground too uneven to search by vehicle.
History of Pickling posted on Aug 11
Looking for an easy way to preserve the delicious produce you bought during Farmer’s Market Week? Read more on the history of pickling. Served crispy as an appetizer or spicy as a snack, pickled green beans, more commonly known as “Dilly Beans”, can even be …Continue Reading History of Pickling