Today we wrapped up our Port of Garibaldi field trips for the semester. Earlier in March we brought about seventy-five 3rd-5th graders from Garibaldi Grade School, and today we brought about forty students from Carrie Averill’s Intro and Advanced Agriculture classes at Tillamook Junior High School to visit with key local food system workers involved in different industries at the port. Students rotated between three different learning stations: fish, crab and seaweed.
At the fish station, students learned from longtime local fisherman Kelly “The Blade” behind-the-scenes of his shop “The Spot”. Students got to see Kelly in action: cleaning and preparing freshly caught black rockfish, boiling crabs, and fielding questions about his business and fishing life. For the TJHS group, Kelly’s right-hand man, Chris, led the group, teaching and showing students live lingcod, purging butter clams, and handling crabs. Chris also took students down to the docks to show them his fishing boat, “Silver Girl” and inside of one of the biggest working crab boats on the docks! At the crab station, students learned from Gina and Melissa from Garibaldi Cannery about the crab life cycle, commercial crabbing, and crabbing restrictions. Never harvest female crabs! Finally, at the seaweed station, students met with local seaweed queen and marine biologist, Alanna!
Although seaweed is a highly nutritious and regenerative food source, it is currently overlooked as an important and tasty source of protein in our diets. Alanna’s enthusiasm and expertise on the potential for seaweed to mitigate climate change and feed our growing population reminds us of how we live in such a unique and vibrant local food system with so many opportunities for students to explore and help build.