Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
Last week, I joined Pierce Tree Farm co-owners Russ and Dan Pierce (father and son) at an annual tree cutting ceremony at their farm in Lunenberg to kick off the holiday season. Christmas tree cutting outings at Massachusetts farms make for a great family adventure!
From Cape Cod to the Berkshires, Massachusetts has 280 Christmas tree farms where residents and visitors can pick out their own locally grown tree. Most farms offer popular varieties including Balsam, Concolor, Fraser, Noble Fir, Scotch and White Pine. Click here to find a Christmas tree farm near you.
The upside to purchasing a tree from a Massachusetts Christmas tree farm is that working landscapes help preserve our open space as well as ensure a vibrant agricultural future for the Commonwealth. Also, locally grown trees are a renewable and recyclable resource. For example, after the holidays, trees can be chipped for mulch unlike artificial trees that contain non-biodegradable plastics.
Check out some photos of me at the ceremony when the Pierces donated a tree to Command Sgt. Maj. Vince Collins and his family. Vince will be redeployed to Afghanistan within the next month. In the photo is me, with Vince and Dan. I got wet and muddy but I’ll take a little drizzle for the fresh smell of Balsam Fir any day!
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.