It takes a certain kind of person to be an oyster farmer. You may not have to answer to a boss, but you do have to answer to the tide, working your grant when the tide is low, whether that’s 5:30 am or 7:30 pm. Scheduling your chores, deliveries and offshore culling when the tide is high. In the spring, when it’s time to return rebar racks and grow bags to the water, you have to struggle with the tide’s pull or endure the biting rains and harsh winds that blow across its surface. Forget to secure a canoe, or oyster hats, and the ebb may quickly take them away.
In the best of years, you have six short months to make a living, dependent on the seasonal water temperatures and the summer market.
But Jason and Elisabeth would never do anything else. They have no control over their work environment, nor can they count on a regular paycheck. But every day, as they divide grow bags, cull oysters for market, prepare hats to catch larvae, they’re breathing fresh air, hearing the cries of hungry seagulls, and taking in views that most people only see on Instagram. As hard as the work may be sometimes, they feel grateful every day to live, work and play in Wellfleet, on Loagy Bay, by the tide.
All images and text © Edward Boches
By Edward Boches
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