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!
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