Monday, February 24, 2014

Community Supported Fisheries for 2014

Community Supported Fisheries – Akiwenzie’s Fish & More…

I am so happy we have such a strong support system.  Without you, we couldn’t and wouldn’t be here.  Thank you!!!

I will give you a little history/summary of our business.  We started in 2002 but really Andrew has been fishing since he was young.  He fished with his uncles out of a wooden row boat when he was 8-9 years old before he left for school.  We started at the Owen Sound market in 2002 as a business and slowly grew to the Keady Flea Market and Crow’s Creek market.  In 2006 we started in Toronto at Riverdale Farm. 

We catch our own fish and occasionally we buy off other community fishermen.  We process the fish which consists of cutting, pinboning, smoking, packaging and pricing.  We operate a provincially inspected fish plant and our days are spent with a lot of cleaning of this plant and organizing for the next market. 

Our main catch is Georgian Bay Whitefish and some lake trout.  On occasion we have caught other species like pickerel or rainbow but this is rare and usually quite a surprise for us to see one.

We started doing a CSF last year and it has helped us greatly.  At the beginning of every season we are coming off a really lean time which is winter.  Spring usually means high start-up costs, recovering off an especially tough long winter season and trying to find fish that can hide in a whole lot of water.  But with the CSF it helps us get a proper start up and not feel like we are sinking before we even get the boat into the water. 

One example of a cost that is reoccurring is our nets.  It costs us $160/100 yards of net.  This is not including the shipping from Manitoba.  We use 900 yards of net to fish.  These nets can be brand new when they hit the water but we have had them torn up so bad after one lift that we had to discard them.  The winds, landscape of the bottom of the bay and algae in the water can mangle the net and leaves us pretty disheartened.   Again, this is when the support through our CSF comes into play.  We would love to start the year with at least 900 yards but if we had 1800 that would give us some breathing room. 
This year we will run our CSF from May 31 through to January 3.  The markets you can use it at will be at Dufferin Grove on Thursday from 3-7pm and The Stop (Wychwood) on Saturday from 8-12pm.  The CSF can be used for anything on our table like smoked, fresh & frozen fish.  Also we have golden caviar in the Fall.  From time to time we also offer a smoked fish pate.  If you want, you can also order a 10lbs box of fish to stock your freezer.   We can bring a whole fish but need 48 hours’ notice by phone or e-mail.  We process the fish pretty quick once it comes to shore.
We may miss a few weeks but hoping this season, weather permitting, will be better than last.  Find or follow us on Face Book and Twitter for we update it pretty regularly. 

The costs for a full or half share for this year.   Full Share $400 and Half Share $200. 

We ask this there will be a $40 limit per market.  This way we know the CSF will be continued over 5-10 week period but you can also use it as sparingly as you want too.   We will keep a running total at our table so that you won’t need to remember to bring anything and you can ask to see how much you have left and when you have used it. 

Please leave us you name and contact information when you are ready to participate with this year’s CSF.  Reminder:  the deadline to sign up is May 31, 2014.  Thank you again for your support. 

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