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 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
Calling All Shuckers! posted on Sep 3
Do you know where the oysters you ate at the raw bar last night were grown? Do you know how oysters are grown? Oysters naturally inhabited the eastern coast dating back to the 1700s, but due to over-harvesting, disease, and habitat loss, wild oysters have …Continue Reading Calling All Shuckers!