Last week we enjoyed visiting Don’s sis-in-law Susan Del Rosario and her family. The three of us had lunch at a nice deli, and the waitress was great at her job, but not such a good photographer.
Don’s nephew John gave us a tour of the Abalone Farm where he’s worked for about 10 years.
The location of the farm is on a sparsely-populated and beautiful unspoiled stretch of the Pacific Coast. It would make a nice background for a movie, don't you think?
Seawater is constantly pumped up the hill to the farm, giving abalones a fresh, natural environment.
We saw the tanks where eggs are fertilized and start their growth from tiny organisms, and where they are moved to larger tanks to continue growing.
This is one of the larger abalone ‘baby’ specimens, some are so small I couldn’t see them.
Here’s one that’s a little bigger.
And this is an extra large adult that will be sold at the weekly farmer’s market. Standard sizes, smaller than this one, which are uniform in size, are typically shipped to restaurant suppliers.
There are 7 varieties of abalones in California’s Pacific Ocean waters. The large shells in the middle of the top row represent the Red type of abalones produced by this farm. Scientific name: Haliotis Rufescens.
The shells are so pretty, especially on the inside. John gave me a few, and I love looking at them. Maybe I’ll do something creative with them someday.
Back at Susan’s house, we saw a Rosary that John made for his Mom from abalone shells. Nice work, Johnno! Now, that’s creative!
John’s talents include being a great cook as well, like several other men in the Del Rosario clan. He prepared an abalone appetizer for each of us at dinner that evening. Lovely and delicious!
Don and niece Lisa enjoyed getting caught up with each other. I didn’t get a pic of the wonderful steamed clams Lisa prepared for us. Or the delicious fresh tuna and beautiful salad that Susan prepared. The women in the family are great cooks, too!
Lisa’s husband Sergio Nell and Don had a good time together, too.
We were so close to the Artichoke Center of the World (Castroville), it was required to have steamed artichokes with our dinner!
What a lovely table!
When it was time for us to move on, we drove inland and northward toward Lodi to do final preparations for the Western Area Rally for Escapees (WARE).