air temp: 70 F
water temp: 64 F
tide: -1.0' at 0935
conditions: sunny, cool after several days of insane heat
number of bags: 53
notes: Installed three more moorings and buoys to add another line to the farm on the low tide this morning. I'm not really in need of it yet, but there aren't many extra low tides this summer. August is also a month of complete insanity in the lobstering world, my other world. Fishing won't necessarily take precedence over farming, but it will occupy more of my time and energy. Gotta pay those bills. Having the farm ready to take on swiftly growing oysters as well as the new crop of 2019 seed is going to be super helpful for my mental health. I'm also front-loading the building of new oyster bags that this expansion will require, so that those are all ready to go as well.
We saw a big spike in water temperatures lately with the heat wave that we've had here in Maine, and its been crazy to watch the oysters, especially the little ones, react to that jump in temperature. They are eating and growing like gangbusters and soon will require more space so that they all get a fair shot at feeding.
In less joyful, more frustrating news, all of Casco Bay is STILL shut down for harvesting due to this red tide that just won't seem to release us from its grip. It's been frustrating and disappointing for me to say the least, as it's required that I postpone my initial deliveries of oysters to my first season of farm share customers. It's taught me a pretty valuable lesson about how long these closures can last, though, and that the faster I can get an application into the state for a larger longer term standard lease, the better. Standard lease holders have the option to do direct sample testing from their leases through the state, and in the case that their product is not consuming dangerous levels of red tide, they can be issued an exemption from the larger closure to continue harvesting. The whole application process in lengthy (1+ years) and completely cost prohibitive for a small-scale newer operator like myself (think $1,500), which is why I haven't even though about tackling it yet. The sooner the better, though, and maybe my next task will be to seek out a little more grant money to make it happen that much sooner. Maybe I'll take a nap first, though.