After our day of shearing sheep and cutting bog; our next destination was a mussel farm. “Just walk along the dirt road for about ten minutes and then you will be there,” yelled Tom to the group of us that were leading. At the end of the dirt road we saw mountains in the distance, water below it, and a wall that met the water. A soft breeze came from the Killary Fjord, cooling us off from the walk.
We were greeted with slobbery kisses from a golden retriever named Juno. After taking our seats at the picnic table we met Kate, the owner of Killary’s Mussel Farm. She was a wonderful woman who fed us oysters, clams, mussels, salmon, and warm brown bread.
After we finished eating the delicious foods that Kate had provided for us, Simon took us out on the boat. He took us out where they harvest the mussels. He told us that they were still shy of two years, so they will not be ready for harvesting until July. It is important that they do not harvest their mussels too soon, so the ecosystem does not get out of balance. When the mussels grow for about a year, Simon and his crew, go into the ropes and clear off about thirty-five percent of the undergrown mussels to allow them to continue to grow on the rope.
Killary Mussel Farm used to export all of their mussels, clams and oysters to France and support French restaurants, until recently. To support Ireland and its local businesses Killary Mussel Farm now send all of their harvested mussels to surround cities and towns in Ireland. All restaurants but one in Westport, Ireland, County Mayo now serve Killary’s mussels. Killary Mussel Farm refined their focus from exporting their good to other countries; to supporting and providing for Irish markets and restaurants.
Ireland focuses on reading nature and the habitat they live in. Killary Mussel Farm does not take mussels out of the water before they are finished developing. In America over fishing and hunting are huge problems that are causing ecosystems to be destroyed. Ireland does not over harvest and put their own needs in front of species growth rate. Killary Mussel Farm harvested mussels in a way that did not disrupt the nature cycle of nature.