June is here and I am ready for it like I never have been before! It took me about a month's work after getting the oysters off the bottom and back to the surface to bring all the gear back out to the lease, load by load, to spread the crop out into. This is the first year I've both had all the gear needed to complete this task (in past years I would have to pause along the way to furiously buy and build what I didn't already own), but I also finished it so much more quickly than usual that things have just been sitting pretty out there, waiting for the heat of summer to really kick oyster growth into high gear. It feels good to see some improvement in my practices, and know that I am continuing to become a more efficient and organized operator.
This spring has felt a little slower and colder than recent ones have, which is fine with me. Slowly and steadily, though, the water has been warming and the oysters are starting to really show off some beautiful ruffly new shell growth around the edges!
Since I was able to get the farm so speedily spread back out into it's summer growing set up, and since I haven't yet received my seed for the year (any day now!) the little bit of "down time" I've found myself with has allowed me to focus a little time and energy into maintaining and updating some of my farm infrastructure. This year this has mostly been boring stuff, like investing in new, bigger corner buoys and lots of reflective tape to help make my farm more visible to boaters out there on the bay. There's more recreational traffic in my neck of the woods than I've ever seen before in recent years, and my farm's proximity to it all has me more anxious than ever about careless boaters causing damage to my gear.
I've also added a couple new lines to my floating array to accommodate a little bit of anticipated growth this year, as well as built and deployed a bunch of new bottom cages, which I will talk more about in a future post! This is a fun growing method that I'm excited to incorporate into my regular practices.
Next up will be the arrival of this year's seed! Always my favorite day of the year, and the point at which we kick it up into high gear.