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.
Wood: The Future (and Past) of Green Infrastructure posted on Sep 30
Wood, one of the oldest building materials in human history, might also be the greenest.
The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17
While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12
September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September