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.
Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers! posted on Jul 30
I always thought wasps were the bad guys growing up. But smokey-winged beetle bandit wasps (Cerceris fumipennis) are actually the good guys – used to kill off an invasive species. This specific type of wasp (that does not sting) catches Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a …Continue Reading Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers!
A Whale of a License Plate posted on Jul 28
Wish your license plate was more identifiable? Want to save whales? Well, there is a way to achieve both of these at once. Perhaps the old saying about hitting two birds with one stone should be “do two cool things with one easy payment to the …Continue Reading A Whale of a License Plate
Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster posted on Jul 23
Everything that you have been told about lobsters is a lie. Okay, maybe not everything. But despite the popularity of the lobster industry (and it’s a very popular industry—bringing in over $53 million dollars in Massachusetts alone), many popular beliefs about the lobster’s existence are …Continue Reading Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster