With the departure of fall and the coming of winter, a lot of changes are occurring on the farm. The annual Canadian geese migration is in full swing and the white tailed deer are entrenched in their rut. Every morning is filled with the pop-pop of bird hunters and evenings with the dull thud of deer slugs. A comforting sight is witnessing the daily return of the geese from the fields to the creek every sunset.
While most are focused on family and food, here at Orchard Point, we’re focused on family, food and…oysters! With the chillier air temps, the water has dropped from the fall ~60 degree mark to about 40. That means less algae in the water and slower oyster growth. Sure enough, when we pulled our dock cages, they had next to no fouling and the oysters had barely grown in the past month. We still gave em’ a quick clean and tumble in the Orchard Point spirit. Looks like winter will be spent readying the boat and gear for the spring planting and not handling the oysters as often.
Jumping right into that mode, we set out to pick up our first big batch of gear from down on Eastern Shore of Virginia. A grower friend of ours, Bob, graciously permitted our tiny (compared to his) gear inventory to piggyback on a tractor trailer down from New Bedford, Mass. Unsure of how much space we’d need, we rented the largest moving truck one can rent and drove the three and a half hours to his farm. Luckily we didn’t bang into too many things (maybe an unfortunate stop sign in VA) with the gargantuan truck. It was actually pretty fun to drive. Bob’s partner helped us load our cages and bags with his Bobcat and we were on our way.
Mom isn’t thrilled with the cages taking up space in the boat yard, but they actually don’t stand out too much. Everyone pitched in, including Tucker of course, and we offloaded the truck with ease.
All in all, a very productive pre-Thanksgiving activity. Personally, we’re very excited to have the cages on the farm. There’s something more tangible about the future when you have the physical gear in hand. Now it’s onto outfitting the oyster skiff with a proper crane and winch assembly!