Monday, July 10, 2006

Clam Farming...Back At The Packing House

After the clams are harvested, they have to be cleaned and graded. What Kelly and his crew are looking for, are the clams that measure at least 7/8 inch thickness. This goal here is not to grow big tough clams, but rather young succulent clams in the 7/8 to one inch range. These are currently bringing 12 cents each to the farmer.

In the picture above, Kelly is in position to sort clams into the orange baskets. He has to watch for any damaged, encrusted, or undersize clams. Bill is at the other end of the grader/cleaner roller machine and he is prewashing and adding baskets of clams from the boat.

Mr. B. overseeing the operation. As that cylinder of stainless steel bars rotates, the junk shell and trash falls through the spaces and the good clams tumble and slide down to the baskets.

Bill feeding clams into the rotating cylinder. After our clams were cleaned they went into a cold storage room.
Rosie, the wholesaler who owns this facility will further sort and bag these clams for shipment around the world. I believe she said our clams were heading to Pennsylvania and New York.

We finished just after sunset, tired, wet, and thrilled to have had a good harvest.

I drove home wet and happy again.

Keep your eyes peeled...

...Mr. B. said I need to go mullet fishing with him... Posted by Picasa


Mrs. S said...

Oooh! I can't wait for the mullet fishing story!

I never realized that so much work and effort went into clamming! I will be sure to savor any clams I eat a little more thoroughly in the future.

pablo said...

Great series of posts.

Just a tip: I'm certain you can find lots of mullets at any NASCAR event.

Floridacracker said...

Mrs. S,
I'm sure Kelly would want you to enjoy lots and lots of clams. Clam chowder, clam fritters, clam sauce, fried clams, steamed clams,...

Hmmmm, you're right. For those mullets we might want to first chum with Budweiser,STP decals, and Skoal.

threecollie said...

Hey I like reading one of the destinations of all those lovely clams!

Hurricane Teen said...

oh Mullet fishing is fun, but I've never done it in the ocean. I've done it in the St. Johns River, but my mom used to go to the ocean as a kid. Shine lights into the water and watch for em jumping. Then cast your net and pull in some good mullet. Another one of those things that's just simply good for the soul. And nothing like using a handmade net, either.

Floridacracker said...

Yeah, you might get some of these in your local restaurants!

Hurricane Teen,
Oh I've castnetted a bazillion mullet, this would be a legal size net boat.

LauraHinNJ said...

I was about to comment on how small the clams are and don't seem to have grown much, but not being a clam-eater, didn't realize the small ones are the tastiest!

Curious how much your day's work is worth at the market? Can a person make a living at this or is it more a hobby for pocket money?

Mrs. S said...

Another question - can you include recipes or recommend recipes for any of the above-mentioned clam-type-foods? 'Cause wow, those sound good and I'm totally drooling now.

Floridacracker said...

The farmers get 12 cents per clam and an average farmer probably has a million clams out on the lease. Labor mainly happens at the beginning and end of a cycle, otherwise they just lie there and grow. Those involved are making a decent living. My friends in the story are doing it as a side occupation only.

Mrs. S,
I have a clam chowder recipe in my archives if you search. It's pretty spicy...might upset Zoe.

Deb said...

pablo- somewhere there's a whole Web site devoted to "mullet haiku"...yeah I wasted some time reading it! :)

Hick said...

This was GREAT! My type of post. I love to read about this type of stuff and see the pictures. You are a born teacher.

But...where's the photo of the finished project? You know...the part where you eat it. One of your famous recipes, please?

Floridacracker said...

Type in Clam Chowder in the Search This Blog box up top. Of course, I never follow a recipe exactly. They are like road signs...just a suggested path.