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Life in the Greenhouse: Second week for the intern, Phoenix


Fish! We’re getting in a shipment of fry- baby fish less than an inch long. 1,000 of them. Everyone on the farm is abuzz with anticipation. I’m astonished to learn that they are being shipped from down south via UPS. Ha! Who knew you could order stuff like this and have it delivered by the same truck that gives you your Amazon order?

The box is opened and we all gathered round to peek in at the new kids. It’s quite amazing that these little guys (yes, they’re all male) will be over a foot long in just a few months. I asked Shockey if they are all the same breed or kind. “Well, they’re the mutts,” he says. “Cross breeding makes a stronger stock that tastes better.” Good point.

When fry first arrive at our greenhouse they have to be acclimated. Ashley, two other greenhouse workers, and myself all took turns adding water from the nursery tanks every half hour into the box in which the fry were delivered. This slowly raises the temperature without shocking the poor little guys further. We also added a cup full of slightly salted water to the box. This cleans the fish and lowers their stress levels.

Once the temps became equal, it was transferring time! Myself and another greenhouse worker were handed small fish nets like the ones you find in an aquarium shop. We were instructed to catch a few fish, count them, call out the number of fish and the number of the tank we put them in. Seems simple, right? Not so. Boy can they move! And once you get a few in the net, they don’t stop moving to count either! We laughed our way through catching them and calling out numbers.

“Five in Tank One!”

“Eight in Tank Seven!”

I’m happy to report we didn’t drop a single one!