Green City Garden Girl: The Art of Razor Clam Digging

| 1/25/2011 12:45:42 PM

KyLynn HullKyLynn Hull is a freelance writer who dabbles in many things including writing, urban farming, cooking and raising backyard chickens. She writes regularly for garden and food blog, Green City Garden Girl - Bound by the Seasons.  

There are only a few times a year when you can take advantage of clam digging on the beaches of Washington State. This was a pastime growing up and something I've recently revisited and started enjoying again with my parents and son.

clam digging father 
My dad is a veteran digger. Look at that form! Photo By KyLynn Hull. 

Let it be said, fresh clams are remarkable and the opportunity to dig your own is equally important. I admit, the tides aren't always convenient and it can be time consuming, but, I believe, well worth it. My mom's brother, on the other hand, loves to dig clams, but he now opts to have Central Market call him when they have a supply. His north of Seattle location isn't quite convenient enough for him to make the 3+ hour drive, and I totally get that.

For me, I like to get my hands dirty. I like to feel the tug-of-war that gets started between me and the clam. I like the physical aggressiveness that comes from digging your own. When you first see that bubble in the sand and immediately fight for what's yours. You mightily dig your shovel in wanting to win the prize when it emerges from below. Those suckers can dig fast and, unfortunately, at times, faster than you. This cat-and-mouse kind of game gets you coming back for more. Well, that and the fact they are delicious to eat.

clam digging KyLynn 
Here I am. Yes, that's me, polka dot boots and all. (Using a clam gun.) Photo By KyLynn Hull.