WHEW. Well, August blew by followed by September, which feels like it never even happened. And now here we into October already, which means we are full swing into getting the farm ready for winter.
The water has quickly started to cool down now that our days are shorter and nights colder, which means the growth rate of the oysters has quite noticeably slowed down for the season. This is generally my cue to start winter prep tasks, which vary from year to year but mostly consist of culling out as many market size oysters as I can find, consolidating the rest of my stock, and eventually moving everything down to the bottom for safe keeping from winter ice and weather. As part of this year's winter preparations I built a whole bunch of new bottom cages to test run. I've been experimenting and tweaking designs for cages that sit on the bottom to incorporate into my grow out scheme throughout the year, and am excited to test drive them
this season. They are small enough that I can set and retrieve them pretty easily without needing a crane or hauler on my boat, and also without causing undue harm to my body, always my goal.
The other thing I'm thinking about and preparing for this time of year is fall weather. There inevitably will be a few nasty windy, rainy storm events before I get things safely down to the bottom, so double checking gear, moorings, lines and attachment points and replacing anything that looks weak or worn is top of mind too. Let me tell you, the day that everything makes it safe and sound below the waves is always the biggest feeling of relief!
There's a lot of work still to go to finish out this growing season, but the end is in sight, and boy does that feel nice after a long hard summer of work.