The Heal Eddy farm was established in Georgetown in May, 2014. The method involves seeding the flat and then covering with protective nylon netting.
The farm was installed by Chris Warner, a licensed harvester in Georgetown, and Manomet, a non-profit conservation organization based in Brunswick, Maine.
The site consists of ninety-one 14’x20′ plots (see photo right). The Heal Eddy farm is both a commericial-scale farm AND a scientific experiment. We are learning how dense seed clams can be “planted,” and we’re testing three different mesh sizes.
We’re also monitoring temperature, green crabs, and siltation.
Seed clams planted in May, 2014 were about 10-15 mm in size. After two growing seasons (two summers, or 15 months), clams are just now reaching 2″, commerical size. Growth rates are high at Heal Eddy site.
In the winter of 2014-2015 we had a problem with sediment build up over some of the nets. We scraped away the sediment with a regular garden hoe, being careful not to rip the nettting. Because of sediment build up, we removed 5 nets over the winter, and replaced 2 of the 5 nets in the spring of 2015. We left the remaining 3 uncovered to see if green crabs would attack the exposed plot. (They did.)
Green crabs were caught at Heal Eddy until the last week of December. The crabs returned to the site the first week of April.
Approximately $16,000 was invested in the Heal Eddy farm ($10,000 in nets; $6,000 in seed clams). About 300,000 seed clams have been planted at the site. We anticipate $30,000-$60,000 in revenue, depending on survival rate.
Two experienced clam harvesters can install about 15 nets in one tide cycle.