• 2011 started on the rocky side, when we accidentally deleted all blog posts back to April Fool’s Day 2007, but we quickly recovered and ended up having a fantastic year, minus the truck theft. We bought a new truck, built a Flupsy, built a downweller, attended the first ever Meritage Oyster Fest in Saint Paul, had lots of fun here on the farm, and nursed babies of all shapes and sizes into 2012.

    Here’s a recap:

    Blue Pool Oysters hit the shelves. We’re really proud of these little jewels, and can’t believe we’ve only been selling them a year.

    First annual Oyster Rama. Washington Sea Grant led interpretive tours, visitors harvested their own oysters and clams, and we paid hilarious homage to tideflat work with the world’s first intertidal oyster sports competition. Plus, we ate a lot of shellfish. Even better: we were able to donate half of the proceeds to a local education non-profit, and we kept the party intimate and real with lots of local participation and flair. Some of the best feedback came from people who said the Rama “felt like a family barbecue.” We’re already cooking up ways to make Oyster Rama 2012 better, but not necessarily bigger… stay tuned for more details!

    Restaurant Visits: We love it when restaurants visit the farm because A) restaurant people like to party, B) we get to figure out what they’re looking for in an oyster, and C) we get a chance to show them what makes Hama Hamas special. This year we had a blast hosting several restaurants, most notably the Urban Farmer from Portland and the Meritage from St Paul. If you’re in the restaurant world and would like to visit the farm, give us a shout out at orders@hamahamastore. We promise it’ll be worth your while.

    Oyster Stout: We partnered with Upright Brewing in Portland to concoct a deliciously salty stout that, in the words of one our customers, “tastes like it’s been lost at sea for six years.” Oyster Stout 2012 will begin brewing in early January.

    Farmers Markets: There’s nothing happier than a farmers market full of dogs and kids and bluegrass music and absolutely delicious food. We began selling our oysters at two Seattle-area Farmers Markets (U-District on Saturdays and Ballard on Sundays) in April and despite missing a couple of weeks after Truck Heist 2011, we’ve been going strong ever since.

    Best Hama Hama Song of 2011: Guster’s version. Some of the Guster band mates visited along with the Urban Farmer in January and got totally psyched about the farm.

    Happy New Year!

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    The tide bubbling down for the afternoon.

    Given the recent beautiful full moon, and the eclipse, and the calm, still days we’ve been experiencing here on the farm, we’ve been thinking a lot about the tides. Of course, we always think about tides: is the tide high enough for the pump to turn on? low enough to expose the gold bar? high enough to take the Battle Axe out? and on and on. The tide sets our work schedule. You can’t even work in the retail store without being aware of where the water is, what direction it’s headed, and whether or not you should clean the live tank now or three hours from now.

    But paying attention to the tide is not the same thing as understanding it, as that last sentence demonstrates: when the tide goes out, it’s because the earth and the moon move, not the water.

    And that’s one of the lovely and unique things about working on an oyster farm: every once in a while something happens that rearranges your perspective on the world, and your place in it.

    Read more about how the sun, the moon, gravity, and our watery planet create tides here.

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    Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any more beautiful…

    December 9, 2011

    … the moon came out:

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    Blue (and sometimes Golden) Mussels

    December 9, 2011

    Native blue mussels are smaller than their Mediterranean counterparts, but just as tasty. They’re flash mob mussels: some years there are hardly any on the beach, then the next year they’re everywhere. Occasionally, just for fun, they aren’t blue at all, but golden. Every now and again, a customer comes into the store with her […]

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