One year and counting.

For those keeping track (hi, Mom), this week marked my one-year anniversary with the farm. My supposed end-date, in fact. I meant to give this whole project a single year. But, as with many of my big ideas, plans have changed.

Turns out, I found a place that I like going to every day, where my work and contributions are appreciated and where the people I work with genuinely love what they do. It's everything I thought I would find and so much more. So I've committed to at least another summer and maybe a little fall. Strategically, this works out well since it'll lengthen my stay to about 18 months -- and that just happens to be the typical life cycle of our oysters. Fitting, no?

So many things that started out feeling foreign to me are now natural parts of my day: commuting 45 minutes to work; driving down to the harbor just to make sure it's still there; understanding what makes a perfect three-inch oyster; hearing the chickens squawk just outside our windows; that unmistakable briny sweetness of every Island Creek.

It feels good to have these consistencies now, to know a place and a product so well that they're rooted inside me. I wouldn't still be here if it hadn't resonated so deeply. More importantly, I'm thankful I took the risk. Not once have I looked back.

And here we are, back at the International Seafood Show, getting ready for spring. Pretty soon the water will warm up and the seed we planted last fall will start showing signs of growth. I'm looking forward to hitting the tide and seeing how all our babies have handled the winter. What's better is that I'll be around in September to see the first of it come out of the water.

Whether or not that will signal some sort of exit strategy is still up for debate. But that's a long ways off. Until then, I've got seed to watch over.