Commissioner Scott Soares
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
Last Friday, I partook in one of my favorite events of the year – the annual maple syrup tapping, which is the official kick-off of Massachusetts’ “first crop” of the season. You could see some patches of snow still on the ground but that didn’t stop a nice turnout of folks, including Sen. Rosenberg, Reps. Donelan, Kocot, Kulik, and Scibak, Deerfield Selectwoman Shores-Ness, and members of Massachusetts Maple Producers Association from celebrating this traditional rite of spring. In the photo, the tree you see me tapping (and for which I was heartily teased because I drilled at too steep an angle) belongs to the Williams’ homestead, a multi-generational family of maple tappers! In the next photo, you can also see me talking to the maple tree a bit to get that maple syrup flowing and I’m happy to report that it did!
March is Massachusetts Maple Month, and what better way to celebrate it than to visit one of the state’s many local sugarhouses. Click here for more information on how to find the sugarhouses that are open for tours and pancake breakfasts.
Or if you want more of a hands-on, outdoors experience you might want to check out MassWildlife’s and the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s upcoming maple sugaring and geocaching event for outdoorswomen on March 20th in Uxbridge.
[Photo:from left to right back: Sandy Williams, Chip Williams, Representative Kocat, from left to right front: Ed Parker, President of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, Rep. Scibak, and Commissioner Soares]
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.