our grading set up

our grading set up -- plus our boat filled with seed bags ready to be deployed

We’re on a roll now, moving seed out from under ourselves daily. The weather and the tides have kept us from deploying a ton this week but between tomorrow and Friday, we’ll have a huge chunk of seed out in the river and in our cages in the middle of the bay. We have to wait until low tide to get most of it out and the tides aren’t cooperating like they should. They come in and out at varying speeds and this week, it’s just been fickle. But at least Catie and I are past the hump of grading daily. Now we’re giving our sub quarters a few days to pick up speed and grow.

quarter-inch grader

quarter-inch grader

Plus, Skip actually sells a lot of the seed he grows to other growers and this is the week they’re all getting it (and deploying it on their own leases). We’re doing seed counts daily which takes some time and keeps my head filled with crazy numbers. I’m getting very good at determining a liter count on a tote by eyeballing it, thanks to Skip.

But I’ve also started counting everything, all day long. How many shakes it takes to grade a scoop of seed. How many scoops it takes to empty a tote when grading. How many boards on our upwellers are driving me crazy. Adding up all these little things gets my head focused, in a very weird way. My dad and high school math teacher would be proud.

Everyone on the farm is grinding these days. The farmers are deploying seed all at once. The crews are helping them along with culling and bagging a huge amount of oysters every day. The delivery guys are out there pounding the pavement. On the wholesale side, we’ve been selling scallops both in the shell and shucked; we’ve been hand delivering our products to NY (which requires a twice weekly round trip in one of our trucks in less than 24 hours – Hendo’s been leading the charge); we’re about to start selling striped bass (next week!); and finally – finally! – the Island Creek Oyster Fest tickets are on sale. GO BUY ONE. They will sell out before the festival takes place on September 12. We’ve been busy putting together a pretty killer lineup of chefs and bands plus we’ll have thousands and thousands of oysters and beers by Harpoon. Our pigs, Gourmet and Midnight are getting fat and happy in time for the pig roast and we’ve been watching our chickens turn into lovely little hens (don’t worry: we’re not eating them). Skip even cobbled together a makeshift pen for them out of seed cages.

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But Billy’s in charge of corralling them into their coop at night. Not an easy feat but I think he has a way with these chickens.

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The only thing we’re missing on the farm is Berg. Poor guy got hit by a car last week. He’s doing fine – just a hairline fracture – but the crew is definitely feeling a little lost without him. Hopefully he’ll be on his feet in no time. (And if you’re reading this Berg, the girls say ‘get better soon!’)

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