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3/9/2024 - waking up

The winter season is winding down and as spring starts to make it's impending arrival

an oyster boat tied to a dock on a winter morning
A beautiful winter harvest morning

known (somewhat early this year but the feel of it), I am starting to at least think about and make lists for spring prep.

All told it was a fairly mild and easy winter. I had a lot more oysters ready to go to market this year than in years past, thanks to seeding increases the past couple years, and so I worked a little more than I usually do, making sure all those oysters got off to market so that the gear they were occupying would be free and ready come April when it's time to raise the smaller oysters back up to the surface and spread them back out.

Oysters in the back of a truck headed off to market
Put lots of big winter harvests like this one on the books this year!

Aside from a little boat maintenance in January, though, not much has been happening on the farm while the oysters snooze through the cold water months.

The list is long for start up preparations, though, and it's almost time for me to get a jump on those items that need to happen on land first! This is lots of equipment and farm rigging prep, making sure buoys are properly marked and labeled, cutting and splicing fresh new long lines and spreader bars for my floating gear arrays, and cleaning and mending all those oyster bags and cages that came ashore after winter harvest days. There are docks to launch, tides to watch and plan around, and eventually it will be time to start floating the farm again.

and oyster
There have been some stunners coming out of the water this winter. Very proud of these oysters.

In the meantime, there's a bit of behind-the-scenes work going on to keep the larger business of Emily's Oysters moving along - think inspections and recertifications of licenses for the coming year, farmer's market dues and plans as well as the production of the non-oyster merchandise items that we sell alongside the oysters.

While there's not as much hard physical labor that comes along with this time of year (until we get to schlepping all that gear back down to the boat and out to the farm!) the spring is definitely the most financially challenging part of the year for just about every farmer of every type, and I am no exception. Farmer's markets are slow until we move them back outdoors, supply for market on the farm is getting low, and the costs for this years seed, gear replacements and repairs, licenses, insurance, market dues, and so much more all come due at the beginning of the year. This is why this tends to be the only time of year that I really promote and and advertise my CSA program! Signing up now, even if not planning on picking up any oysters until later in the spring or summer helps me out so much with this first big hurdle of season kick off. Learn more about what CSA is and how to join at (sorry for the shameless plug here, but it's such an important part of keeping this farm running!)

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