Multimedia intern, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
On Friday, November 25, 2011, the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Scott J. Soares celebrated the kick-off of the annual Christmas tree cutting and harvesting season at Ioka Valley Farm in Hancock. It’s an annual outdoor tradition that is fun for families and friends who want to support the more than 200 local Christmas tree farmers and our local economy.
Commissioner Soares told me that going out to a local Christmas tree farm to harvest his own tree is one of his favorite traditions and that he’d like to rename Black Friday to Green Friday in honor of the annual tree cutting ceremony.
Check out the photos from the tree cutting ceremony Commissioner Soares participated in on Friday!
Christmas tree farm trees are an environmentally friendly and sustainable option, especially if they are recycled after their use. Tree farm trees are a crop, and are continually replenished. For every Christmas tree that is harvested, one to three seedlings are planted. Nearly 98 percent of all Christmas trees are grown on farms, thus limiting negative impacts on forests. Varieties of trees sold in Massachusetts include Balsam, Concolor, Fraser, Noble Fir and Scotch and White Pine trees.
“Buying a real Christmas tree from your local grower keeps open space and money local, as well as reducing our carbon footprint. It also provides animal habitat, prevents soil erosion and beautifies the landscape. Christmas trees are recyclable, bio-degradable and make ‘scents’,” said Melissa Leab of Ioka Valley Farm.
Tree recycling information:
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.