After my day at Per Se, Berg texted me: “If you can’t handle the heat you can come back to the farm.” Ah, Berg. Always good at handing me a dose of reality. Honestly, I was ready to get back. Our trip to NY had left me with stars in my eyes – we’d eaten at Craft, visited the Food & Wine offices to chat with Kate Krader and Kristin Donnelly, who wrote a great blog post about it, and spent the day (and night) at Per Se. An oyster farmer can only handle so much.
My first day back, we were on the move once again. The float came back to land (if you can remember waaaay back, it’s been on the water since April.).
Now we’re anchored next to the dock by the Maritime School which means we’re hooked up to electricity and running water and we’re within spitting distance of the bathroom. (Hooray!) We like our new little nook. When the tide’s high, we can see over the wall that shields the dock from most high winds and waves and during low tide, like the epic drainer we had last night, it feels like we’re hidden away from the rest of the world. Nice little place to be for the winter.
We celebrated our first week with a few swigs of Harpoon from a growler Skip brought down. We used our sustainable ice bucket just for the occasion.
We’ve been lucky to have a mild fall and early winter so far. There are rumblings that this might be a “less-than average” year for snowfall – here’s hoping that’s true (though, Skip admitted that the oysters do like the cold for a little while).
And believe it or not, we’re nearly done with seed! I’m sure I sound like a broken record – we wanted to have it all planted by the end of October. But we depend on good weather and the tides to get access to the lease and neither have been on our side this fall. But Skip and Berg planted more of it yesterday and we’re hoping to get the final cages emptied and planted by next week. Once that’s done, we can get our cages up to storage and call it a year. Just in time for Christmas.
As for me, my time on the farm is winding down – incredibly hard to believe. The plan is for me to come off the farm and start working in the office on January 1st. I know, I know – Erin, you’re turning into a suit! (And conveniently, right in time for whatever cold snap we might get.) But that was my plan from the beginning and I’m sticking to it. I need to see how the company runs things from the other side. It’s a missing piece on my farm-to-table path so I’m looking forward to learning a new aspect of it all.
Yes, the guys are giving me a hard time about it. They’ve even come up with a new name for when I call it quits on the farm: Part-Time Pain.