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Commissioner Scott Soares

Commissioner Scott Soares

Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)

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Autumn in Massachusetts is one of my favorite times of year. As the weather gets cooler and the days shorter, it is incredible to see the bounty of Massachusetts’ farms still going strong. Because of New England’s short growing season relative to other areas of the country, it is no wonder farmers have adapted their variety of products and farming techniques to make the most of the fleeting warm days. Even with winter fast approaching, it is still possible to eat locally and healthy in one bite! Many of the fruits and vegetables harvested during the late fall can be found at farm stands and farmers’ markets.

Finding a local farm to pick your own apples, pumpkins, or simply to buy locally grown fruits and vegetable can be a fun way to incorporate eating healthy into a family activity. While the ever popular tomatoes and corn may have gone, orange squash and carrots, as well as dark green vegetables like kale, are available and are great sources of vitamins. The bright red cranberries from southeastern Massachusetts are a healthy addition to holiday meals and can be found at farm stands through the end of the year. Apples also store well and many farms sell these healthy snacks through winter. Many more local, healthy foods are available right now at farmers’ markets and farm stands throughout Massachusetts.

Find a farm stand or farmers’ market near you.

Many farmers are also great resources to get new recipe ideas and cooking tips. One of my favorite sources for recipes is the New England Apple Growers Association. They list a whole host of recipes highlighting the delicious apples grown in Massachusetts.

You can also find recipes that include other products available throughout the late fall, like this simple recipe I like to make for breakfast. Another one of my favorite recipes is this soup recipe. It’s a healthy dinner, perfect for cold November days!

Visit The Great Outdoors blog for information about healthy outdoor activities like apple picking, hiking or canoeing going on this fall across Massachusetts. 

Apple-Cranberry Yogurt

  • 1 New England apple, cored and diced
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon New England maple syrup walnut pieces dash nutmeg

DIRECTIONS: Add diced apple to yogurt. Stir in cranberries and maple syrup. Top with walnut pieces and nutmeg. Serves one.

Butternut Squash Apple Soup 

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple should be at a 3 to 1 ratio)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: Combine butter, onion, and carrots in large saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes. Add squash, apple, and broth. Bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is soft. Puree. Add spices to taste. Serves 4 to 6.

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