time: 2:24 pm
air temp: 75 F
water temp: 65.4 F
conditions: sunny and calm
number of bags: 96
notes: I am exhausted. I'm feelin' mid-August in a very real way right now. I've been going non-stop from one thing to the next, revolving calendar of fishing/farming/harvesting/ shucking. It's been the most insane summer, and clearly I've gotten a bit behind in the farm log, despite the fact that I've been spending a good deal of time out there on the farm. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, taking the time to reflect and record has never been one of my strengths, and despite my good intentions, its still the first thing to get axed from my to-do list when I start to feel the exhaustion. So this post will serve as a catch-up for the last (two? three?) weeks that I've missed.
Since I've last written, I've undergone a second round of spreading out last year's crop of oysters into more bags. I've been on top of my stocking densities this year in a way that I'm really proud of - things are staying clean, and the oysters have not been left to overcrowd one another for any amount of time, which makes me feel good. It's important for growth rates and survival that you don't let the volume of oysters in any given bag get to the point where they start to compete for food.
Today was also the day that I took 50,000 of my 2019 crop out of the upweller and out to the farm! They range from 1/4 inch to close to an inch. They will hopefully grow even faster out on the farm than in the upweller, as they also now have more space and access to food. Six weeks from the size of a grain of sand to an inch! Oysters are amazing. They're in 4 mm mesh bags to begin with, and hopefully they will grow enough to get promoted before not too long. They are so beautiful.
This summer has been one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life. I've worked so hard and have spent so much of my own hard earned money on gear to accommodate these growing oysters, its sometimes hard to keep looking toward the future with positivity. When I do take a moment to reflect on the successes of this first season in business, though, they are humbling. I've sold more farm shares than I ever thought I could with just a few months of marketing, and have made a really nice amount of other direct sales to customers through my online store as well. I've got some really fun shucking events under my belt for the Maine Fisherman's association and the Nature Conservancy, and have a whole bunch more on the calendar for the next couple of months that will get me and my oysters out into the world! What a joy it's been to watch people eat something that I grew in the ocean, and get direct feedback on the spot. I knew that growing oysters would be fun, but I had no idea how rewarding it would be to participate in the dining experience as well.