Between May and late September, we gather seawater from a gorgeous private beach on the south end of San Juan Island, bringing it back to our farm to be filtered and pumped into our evaporation houses. Why only in the summer? It's simple. Unlike most artisan salt producers, we solar evaporate our seawater instead of boiling it.
These are our evaporation houses. Its basically a greenhouse (or hoophouse) with an indoor ocean! We currently have fourteen of these houses and inside each is a saltwater pond that gets filled once a month during the summer. It can get very hot in here, making evaporation go quickly!
READY FOR HARVEST
After about a month—on average—the whole pond has evaporated, leaving behind a thick layer of salt! One of the things that make our salt unique is that we let our seawater completely evaporate, which allows the trace minerals naturally present in the ocean to stay in the salt, adding to its briny flavor!
GATHERING THE GOODS
The salt that we gather from the houses comes in an amazing diversity of sizes and shapes, and through drying, sifting, grinding and sorting we are able to get our different grades: flake salt, finishing salt, grinder salt, and medium coarse salt (used in our bath salts). And although we only produce salt during the summer, it doesn't spoil, so we are processing and jarring it all year long.