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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.
BOSTON – May 13, 2016 – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux today were joined by members of the agricultural community today to kick off the Plant Something for Pollinators campaign by planting flowers and shrubs in Boston’s Beacon Hill.
“Plant Something for Pollinators recognizes the contributions Massachusetts’ flower and nursery growers make to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I urge everyone to get outside and plant a tree, flower or shrub this spring and make the Commonwealth a healthier and more beautiful place.”
“Planting something at your home will not only make it more beautiful, it can also lower your energy costs and clean the air you breathe, while providing necessary environmental benefits,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By purchasing a plant from your local nursery, you can support your local agricultural economy and make a contribution to the environment.”
The Plant Something for Pollinators campaign, which officially starts on May 15, 2016, is a joint program organized by the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association (MFGA) and the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA). This year’s campaign encourages residents to plant at least one pollinator-friendly plant to improve pollinator populations across the Commonwealth.
“Planting is a great way to spend time in nature, help the environment and support Massachusetts agriculture,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Vegetation also helps our vital pollinator populations, reduces storm water runoff and removes carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air.”
There are approximately 1,039 Massachusetts farms in floriculture, nursery, greenhouse and sod, employing more than 4,000 workers. The industry generated $158 million in sales in 2012.
“Many residents are already growing vegetables and planting flowers,” said DAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “We are pleased to support our flower and nursery professionals to inspire even more people to give it a try. Planting something is good for you, the pollinators, your community and the local economy.”
“Most people realize that plants and trees provide shade, increase property value, and are good for the environment, but they may not realize that plants can also reduce stress and improve your health,” said MFGA Executive Secretary Bob Luczai. “Gardening can burn up to 600 calories an hour!”
BY KAREN SCHWALBE
On a chilly March morning, the smell of fresh-baked muffins and even fresher coffee wafted out the door of Reed’s farm stand – the home of Under the Sun Farm. It was a welcoming first impression to a new business in North Dighton. Milton Teixeira, along with his wife, Caitlin, have recently opened in the location of the former Reed Brothers Produce and Garden Center, a fixture in the Dighton/Rehoboth area. The farm stand is open and stocked with the basics, including the all-important coffee and on-site bakery, to accommodate longstanding regular customers. Under the Sun Farm sells both its own produce as well as more traditional merchandise making it a destination market for the neighborhood. This past weekend the greenhouses officially opened with flowers, seedlings, baskets and bedding plants. I was able to catch up with Milton and Caitlin as they were preparing for the upcoming season.
Milton has been farming since the age of eight and his passion for it hasn’t diminished. A graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Milton is obviously very good at what he does. Read more →
BY KENDRA MURRAY
If there’s one thing I’d love to see flourishing in my garden, I’d have to say coffee plants. However, with our coldest days sometimes dipping below zero, I think I’m out of luck. Despite the fact that I’ll never have a coffee plantation in my yard (as long as I’m living in Massachusetts, anyhow), I can still pick up some locally roasted beans from Jim’s Organic Coffee (and that’s just as good)!