Director’s Message – May 2017

We know what April showers bring, but we hope May showers herald a drought free summer.  Farmers have been working hard getting crops in the ground to take the benefit of the rainy weather.  The cool rainy spring is perfect conditions for delicious early season produce:  tender asparagus, green garlic, succulent lettuces and spinach, spicy radishes and bitter rhubarb. Remember to stock up with local offerings for your Memorial Day events – find what’s available nearby through our Online Farm Guide.

While farmers have been busy in the fields, SEMAP along with other Buy Local Organizations and other agricultural groups attended a very successful Ag Day at the State House last month.  Farmers and friends of farming overrun the State House showcasing the agricultural bounty of the region.  It is also the day to meet with legislators to discuss the issues impacting agricultural and the challenges and opportunities for farmers in Massachusetts.  And with all the food offerings most of our legislators are in attendance.  SEMAP offered watermelon radish donated by Ben & Hannah Wolbach of Skinny Dip Farm.  These spicy and eye-catching gems attracted visitors attention and gave us a chance to educate about winter storage crops and what is in season in early April in Massachusetts.

Besides enjoying the flavor of Massachusetts at Ag Day, our legislators have been active in supporting local food and farming in the Commonwealth.  Legislation has been filed to update the plumbing code to include agricultural uses, establish a Livestock Care and Standards Board, a provision to modify the state estate tax to assess farmland at its agricultural value, rather than its highest and best use value, several bills to protect pollinators, and substantial list of bills relating to food waste.  You can search any bills filed with the legislature here.  Let your legislators know what your concerns are and what you support.

Remember to buy local this Memorial Day weekend.  Put your money where your heart is!

 

All the best,

Karen Schwalbe
Executive Director

 

 

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