Sea + Sun = Salt

MV Sea Salt is more moist and brinier than most the sea salts. It tastes like Martha’s Vineyard. Really. It does.

About once a month in the summer months, Heidi and Curtis (and any good-natured friends they can rope in) drive to the island’s south shore very early in the morning to collect at least 500-1,000 gallons of seawater.

Back at Down Island Farm, they filter and reverse pump the water into a building similar to a greenhouse. The filter removes sand, seaweed, or aquatic life (which they collect and feed to the chickens and peacocks) from the water.

The evaporator is totally heated by the power of the sun; it can reach over 110 degrees inside! The heat, and solar fans which break surface tension slowly evaporate water – a process which can take upwards of 10 weeks depending on the weather (hot and dry is optimal). As the seawater evaporates, the salt is left behind, slowly turning from clear to opaque to blotchy then solid, and forming piles of crumbly crystals. When a crust forms on top, it’s ready to harvest as finishing salt.

Heidi and Curt gently collect the delicate sea salt crystals into pyramids and allow a few more days of evaporation. Entering the evaporator again, Heidi and Curt collect the crystals in totes to bring inside for packaging.

275-gallon of seawater makes about 60 pounds of salt Two grades of salt– a coarse, natural grade known as “traditional” or “finishing” salt and sel gris, a more mineral-dense, moist salt are harvested. Flavor blends feature Heidi’s & Curtis’ Down Island Farm or locally-grown ingredients in the majority of the blends.

You can find ideas for using MV Sea Salt on our Sea Salt Recipe pages.