About Smithereen Farm
We have our lease in Schooner Cove, just next to Reversing Falls in Cobscook Bay. Washington County. Maine.
We are the northeasternmost oyster and seaweed farm in the USA, we have 22 foot tides! We also raise organic veggies, wild blueberries, strawberries, fruit orchard-- we make everything we can into value added products that you can buy on our website www.smithereenfarm.com
We grow out native oysters (Crassostrea virginican) and a native kelp (Alaria esculenta) on lines that float between buoys. We believe that small scale, conservation minded, locally owned aquaculture can be a positive player-- and have a SARE grant to explore "alternatives to plastic in aquaculture." Across the world traditional peoples pursue small scale aquaculture using bio-degradable and natural materials. We don't want robotics and large-scale arrays in the ocean, the whales already have enough to deal with
Please learn about our action research project: www.seaweedcommons.org.
We love algae!! and the ecosystem in the littoral zone.
Our water in Maine is relatively clean, a good place to eat algae from. But in places where waterways are compromised, like near cities, in harbors, downstream from intensive agriculture-- growing algae can have a different role-- sucking up phosphorus, nitrogen and frankly heavy metals. By growing seaweed on jute, agave, hemp and other natural fibers-- that algae can be brought back onto the land and used in compost, for street trees, for roadside plantings, and vegetative strategies that help absorb runoff and rainwater where it falls, infiltrating it so it doesn't become runoff. This helps recharge the groundwater, and of course more native vegetation is good for urban shading, habitat for many species, slowing wind and dust. If we heal the land upstream, we heal the water downstream.
Projects like the Billion Oyster project are very important because they show that restoration aquaculture has a major role to play-- but we worry that plans for large-scale " Carbon Projects" being proposed in BC, in Australia, even on the coast of Maine are putting untested large-infrastructures into globally significant marine habitats, Our ocean is stressed, putting more stressors into pristine places feels less helpful.
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