Hay, Hay, Hay…

“Wanna go grab a load of marsh hay?”.. who can say no to that view…

The ties between farming the sea and the land go further than just commercially fishing and farming in this house.  At a young age, I witnessed the connection of all things by the manner in which my dad respected both.  All plants need nutrients, whether in the dirt or in the sea, and since we live just a few miles from the ocean it only makes sense to use what the earth has created to take care all that we grow.  We are blessed to live so close to the ocean where seaweed, marsh hay, sea shells, and many other nutrient rich plants wash ashore and we’re able to collect them freely in order to self sustain.

Going to collect marsh hay down by the seaside, after the full moon, has been a family past time that my dad started since before I was born.  But as I grew older and wanted to help out more around the house, I’d often jump in the truck with my dad (and my little sister) with pitchforks in tow as we set out for the marsh.  I remember the smell of salty green and the crunch of the dead seagrass.  We’d do our best to keep up with our dad, heaving dense piles of nutrients from the sea into the back of his pickup truck.  I remember standing up on the top of the pile and crunching it down to make room for more.  We were and forever will be queens of the marsh.

Fillin’ her up down by the sea…

Sometimes we’d even go back for a few more loads.  We’d pile it up beneath the grape arbor and once everything was planted we would thoroughly spread the marsh hay around all the plants.   Later, while harvesting, it wasn’t just the fruits of our labor we would find, but sometimes  we would even find the shells of crabs and other crustaceans hiding amongst the hay.  At the end of the season we knew that everything would be tilled back into the soil and that it would provide us with healthier, more nutrient rich crops the following year (crab shells included).

That connection of the land and sea has always stayed with me and perhaps it’s why I always find myself going places where there is both or even find myself coming back to.  I know eventually when I do find some land and make my own homestead happen that it will be near the sea or close enough for a quick car ride.  I just don’t think I would have it any other way…

The end of the day quiet and still on the beach…

The eerily calm ocean waters…

My dad is a “bad man” ha ha

Forget about your troubles… down by the sea…

She’s packed up and ready to be unloaded back home…
Living amongst the sea and the bamboo.. a friendly face checks us out on our way back down 6A…
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