YES, PureFlorida has been dormant for weeks ... I know, I know.
That was due to a perfect storm of new computer, a full week on an island with no internet, and a full travel/training schedule this summer.
I am home for a wee bit now and will try to honor my readers by actually posting some of the Floridacentric posts you expect here at PF.
But enough excuses, let's talk clam farming...
The week on Seahorse Key with 9 students (8 from New York City + 1 from South Florida) was fantastic! We did awesome things and not just a few awesome things, but a full week of AWESOME THINGS!
I'm going to share some of those AWESOME THINGS in a series of posts here on PF.
My challenge is to do this without pictures of the kids ... alas ... I don't feel comfortable posting recognizable shots of the kids without permission.
It bugs me that you won't see them in action, because they were one GREAT group of kids.
One of our expedition days was totally dedicated to clam aquaculture at Cedar Key.
We started the day at the Marine Research center on Cedar Key where the kids learned about stock enhancement and crossbreeding of clam varieties to improve the survivability and growth of the clams.
After the lab, we dropped in on one of the larger clam operations in Cedar Key, "Southern Cross Aquaculture".
|They also grow algae outside where the light is free. You can judge the relative age of each culture by noting the difference in color. Darker cylinders have older, denser populations of plankton.|
|Bobby did a great job of explaining the grow-out and harvest part of clam aquaculture. Sitting next to him is Leslie Sturmer who came to Cedar Key to train fishermen in clam farming techniques after the net ban of 1994. (Note: Nets are not banned, but certain types are.)|
More than anyone, Leslie is responsible for the HUGE clam farming industry in Cedar Key.
Someday, they will build a monument to her on Cedar Key.
She's pretty amazing.
|This is a nice market sized clam, fresh out of the water on Bobby's lease. The farmers at Cedar Key mainly target the steamer size clams. |
They are crazy good and we ate a ton of them at our massive local seafood dinner on the last night of the camp.
|Bushels of clams awaiting their turn in the grader.|