More than 200 vegetable farmers, agriculture students, and other members of the Bay State’s agriculture community attended two free workshops designed to help improve the soil’s capacity to function as a vital living system that sustains plant, animal and human health.
Extension in Southeastern Massachusetts
About Southeastern Massachusetts
The southeast region of Massachusetts is composed of Norfolk, Plymouth and Bristol counties. The largest city in the region is Brockton. Plymouth County funds and manages the 4-H Program in Plymouth County.
An event, which kicked off a healthy food initiative by Mass in Motion Healthy Market Program, is intended to promote the importance of eating healthy.
Cranberries and bumble bees…. they go together like, well, cranberries and Massachusetts. Native bees such as bumble bees (unlike more recent transplants like honey bees) are, logically enough, very often the most efficient pollinators for native crops. But their numbers are in decline—and UMass Amherst professor of entomology Anne Averill wants to find out why.
Cranberries are important agricultural commodities in states such as Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Washington, and Oregon. But cranberry-growing operations are challenged by weeds, which compete for precious resources and often decrease fruit yields and revenues. Producers currently rely on weed management strategies such as flooding and sanding cranberry beds, hand-weeding, or applications of pre- and postemergence herbicides.
Curious brown circles besieging your otherwise flawless fairway? Who you gonna call? For an increasing number of New England golf course superintendents, it’s UMass Amherst’s Stockbridge School of Agriculture, where associate professor Geunhwa Jung has implemented a singular new program to help fight a dreaded turf disease while keeping unnecessary chemicals at bay.
Can one bite of homemade peach sorbet change the world? Maybe not—but it just might change some minds at the Fall River downtown farmers market.
Agriculture is thriving once again in Massachusetts, nourished by a trend toward smaller farms, niche marketing, direct sales and a growing awareness of the impact of local sustainable agriculture systems on the health of people, communities and the environment. The latest USDA Agricultural Census indicates that from 2002 to 2007 the number of farms and the value of farm products both jumped by about 27 percent, led by direct sales and organic produce. Organic sales topped $17 million. By contrast, the period from 1997 to 2002 had seen a troubling 20-percent drop in the number of farms in Massachusetts, in acreage under cultivation, and in the market value of agricultural products.
Certifying vernal pools, building wood duck nesting boxes, and participating in ocean clean-ups may challenge the idea of spare time fun for many young folks. Not so if you are a member of the Nature’s Navigators 4-H Science Club of Middleboro. The club’s 16 members, ages seven through 16, relax into all of the above with joy and enthusiasm. “Science experiments and scientific jobs are multifaceted, involving several disciplines, skills and most importantly, a healthy dose of enthusiasm,” notes Carlos Fragata, one of the club’s three leaders.