November is spent by most preparing for the upcoming winter by tending to yard work, readying winter clothing, and anticipating the always interesting family dinner at the end of the month.
In Damariscotta we recover from the previous month’s Pumpkin Festival, pull docks, and ready ourselves for the onslaught of snow that inevitably arrives. Our farm also prepares for the winter by moving our gear out of harm’s way so that it stays safe from the ice that arrives in winter.
Every year the Damariscotta River freezes over endangering anything on the surface of the water. To avoid catastrophic damage most oyster farms remove gear from their lease site to a safe location on land. This involves loading all of their equipment into a boat and driving it to shore where it is stored safely in a shed. We are a little different. Since our move to the OysterGro system 4 years ago we cannot have the luxury of moving our cages off the water. Instead of physically taking all of our gear, bags, and oysters to land we simply sink it to the bottom of the river. How is this possible? Well the Oystergro system is developed with an easy sinking mechanism…caps that can be unscrewed from the pontoons to let water in and safely sit on the bottom (here is a great video).
Thanks to the hard work of our crew we were able to sink all of our gear before Thanksgiving this year, a new record! The weather has played a big part with ideal working conditions…hopefully it continues through the month. The ease in which we are able to store our oysters throughout the winter is another example of why we are such big fans of the OysterGro system. Not only does it have numerous sustainable benefits, but it makes our work a little easier…and we will take all the help we can get! Now our focus shifts to readying our winter site to ensure we can bring you all the Wiley Point, Pemaquid Point, and Wiley Petite oysters you love all winter long!