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BY KAREN SCHWALBE
Hoffmann Farm might literally be the new kid on the block, with its establishment in Franklin in 2013, but Nick Hoffmann has years of solid dairy experience behind him. Starting a new dairy enterprise is a rigorous endeavor – there are so many regulatory hurdles to achieve – zoning, building and health requirements to meet – on top of building a customer base and establishing the physical infrastructure of the farm itself. So when Nick, his wife Jeanine, and two children decided to pull up roots from New Braintree, Massachusetts and move closer to his wife’s family, it was not a small decision. Interested in moving from wholesale to direct sales, an area like Franklin made much more sense, with fewer farms and a denser population and a reasonably priced property in the family made the transition possible. Read more →
BY KENDRA MURRAY
If you’re plugged into the local agriculture scene, you’ve probably heard talk about a meat processing facility being built in Southeastern Massachusetts. It’s no secret that livestock production in the area is down, mainly because there isn’t anywhere local for farmers to take their animals to be processed. With many folks traveling out of state and up to 3 or 4 hours to get to a USDA inspected facility, it is clear barrier to raising animals for meat. A couple of years ago a group of producers put their heads together to try to find a solution to this problem and the Southeastern Massachusetts Livestock Association (SEMALA) was born.
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker, in support of National Pollinator Week, has declared June 20 – 26, 2016 as “Massachusetts Pollinator Week” – an opportunity to celebrate and protect our pollinator populations. Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) will also celebrate the opening of the first state apiary, a collection of beehives to be used for education and research.
“Massachusetts Pollinator Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of pollination to our environment and agricultural industry, and the vital need to protect Massachusetts’ pollinators,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I encourage all residents to learn more about our native pollinators and consider planting flowers, trees and other plants to provide pollinators with nectar, pollen and habitat.”
“This week, we appreciate the importance of pollinators to Massachusetts’ ecosystems, food sources and economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration is committed to preserving our native pollinator species and their habitats, and working with local beekeepers across the Commonwealth to ensure their hives are healthy and thriving.” Read more →
Strawberries are an earthly delight and the first fruits of the season have ripened to delectable sweetness. Their flavor is tantalizing after a drab winter and this chilly spring but the long, cool season has given plenty of time for the fruits to ripen to peak flavor. Knowing that anticipation Spring Rain Farm, in East Taunton, aims for an early start to the pick-your-own season. Strawberry picking starts early here: Memorial Day/Early June is their traditional start for the three-to-four-week period.