Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
This summer I visited a number of farms that offer tours for the public. It is a fun and tasty way to spend a day with friends and family. We’ve launched a website that includes an interactive Google map and a downloadable map of wineries, dairies, farm stands, pick-your-own farms and more found in Massachusetts. You can find the locations of farmers’ markets, vineyards, apple picking farms, agricultural fairs, cheese makers, and other culinary and farm adventures like the ones shown here.
In the first photo, I’m standing with John Lowell of East Dennis Oyster Farm. At low tide, we rolled up our pants and waded out through the tidal flats of Quivett Neck, in and out of hundreds of trays filled with oysters, while John and his wife Stephanie explained their aquaculture operation, equipment, and the pristine growing conditions of the area that creates an outstanding oyster. Delicious samples followed. John is an enthusiastic aquaculturalist and loves to show visitors around his oyster farm. Due to the nature of the location and the tide schedule, it’s necessary to make an appointment first at (508) 398-3123 . And if you love oysters, I highly recommend you do so!
In the second photo, I’m standing with Jim Ward of Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon. Since 1982, Ward’s has been a family-run farm and market offering pick-your-own strawberries, blueberries, peaches, potatoes, raspberries and pumpkins in season. They offer hayrides in strawberry and pumpkin seasons. They also feature fresh produce, home-baked goods, gourmet cheeses, artisan breads, sandwiches, smoothies, ice cream, farm animals, picnic and children's play areas, a corn maze and hay pyramid in the fall.
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