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!
Increased Carbon Sequestration: Another Reason to Hug a Tree posted on Nov 6
Over the course of more than 20 years, a recent Harvard Study found that with longer growing seasons eastern forests are sequestering more carbon than ever before—as much as 26 million metric tons more. And the Massachusetts forests were already doing a lot to offset our …Continue Reading Increased Carbon Sequestration: Another Reason to Hug a Tree
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October posted on Oct 29
October’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Steve Golson who photographed Hereford beef cattle at Sorli Farm in Carlisle. Sorli Farm has been operated by three generations of the Sorli family since 1745. The family purchased the land in 1914, so it’s fitting that the …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: October
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.