time: 12:30 pm
air temp: 50 F
water temp: 52 F
tide: not low enough
conditions: calm (again!)
number of bags: 13
notes: Whew. Mission accomplished! Thirteen bags stuffed with market size oysters are all that remain on the surface at my little farm. That sure feels good.
I'm exhausted and sore (something new and different), but feeling good to have gotten that done! Hopefully I can catch a low tide soon to line everything up nice and neat. I already feel the learning curve coming my way as I continue to expand the number of oysters on the farm at a given time... I'm getting better at experimenting in a smarter way (i.e. not subjecting my entire crop to some newfangled idea I have for gear rigging, etc.). But this was hard, and I'm going to need to be better organized next year and give myself some time to streamline and make things more methodical and predictable. Fortunately I've got a whole winter ahead of me to plot and scheme for that.
In the meantime, with all that hard work out of the way, I have two rather exciting tidbits of news to share! The first is that my lease application, which I've discussed in previous posts, sailed fairly smoothly through its scoping session last Wednesday. The scoping session is the first of two public meetings that accompany aquaculture lease applications. The purpose of this first public session is more informational, to allow me, the applicant, to share my ideas and hopes and dreams with anyone who cares to show up and learn more. It's also a space for me to hear from other folks who use or interact with the area, and a chance for me to gain more knowledge about the uses of the spot I hope to expand into.
I had the pleasure of meeting one the riparian landowners who owns property on the mainland nearby. She came in with ecological and aesthetic concerns, and after a productive conversation about my plans and about how different shellfish aquaculture is from other (and mostly older) forms of fish farming aquaculture, I think we are well off on a path to being neighbors and friends in the area. Generally speaking, it's becoming pretty clear to me that I and my shellfish farming industry really need to do more educating about how environmentally beneficial shellfish farming actually is. There is quite literally no other means of creating protein in such a sustainable way - provided we aren't setting farms up in endangered or protected habitat, the introduction of our shellfish to the coast of Maine only stands to do good during these days of climate change and ocean acidification. Keep an eye on my social media this winter, as I aim to do a little more educating through it while I have more free time, and I hope you will help me spread the good word!
Ok finally, go check out Maine Women's Magazine's November issue, and this ridiculously awesome article about me, written by the lovely Amy Paradysz, photos by Jenny McNulty. It feels so good to have people take notice of what I've been working so hard at lately, and to think it cool enough to be worth sharing with the wider community. Such an honor, and what wonderful fuel it adds to my already raging fire...