We harvest our salt sustainably from Bulls Bay
As ‘beginner’ homesteaders in 2011, we had been attempting to rethink how we procure the things we need in our lives. Repurposing materials and trying to think about how things were done 200 years ago, rather than hopping in the truck and driving thirty miles to town, became habit.
If you spend any time in the Charleston area, you will have already noticed the distinctive regional taste that we’re all about, its in the air. For us, it might have started when we first ate Bulls Bay oysters, could have been from a walk around Lighthouse Island helping the Turtle Crew one day, or maybe from just hanging around at The Battery. Somehow, the salt, our salt, your salt, Charleston salt, made an impression and we wanted more.
One of the first experimental batches of salt was produced during a 12-hour long hog roast at our home. Lots of heat and extra room in the smoker also led to the first batch of our Smoked Sea Salt.
As new friends stood around at the potluck, much of the talk was about the salt – well, mostly about the pork, but the salt was next best! One of our favorite moments was looking over to see one woman, with her elbows on the (then cooled) smoker, just eating pork off the bone with a bit of salt sprinkled on. That day, May 31, 2012 Bulls Bay Saltworks was born.
We’ve have always been a great team, from working as river rafting guides in Alaska to canoeing and hiking guides in the Everglades, the adventures we’ve had together have helped establish a solid foundation of friendship, love, partnership and creativity.
These days, you might find us playing at the beach with our dogs, sitting by a campfire plotting our next adventure or hanging out with friends at our homestead enjoying the salty air. If ya'll see us around, we'd love it if you wave and say hi!
Rustin & Teresa Gooden
Our salt is crystalized using solar and wind evaporation. We have built and rebuilt many different prototypes in an attempt to find the one that works the best for us, so the design of the tunnels is always evolving. Currently, we have elevated tables that resemble mini hoop houses with small solar powered fans to help increase air flow and evaporation.
The water is filtered during each step and moved from one tunnel to the next during the different stages of evaporation. In the summer, during the final drying period the salt is moved into the greenhouse where high temperatures remove all moisture from the salt preparing it for packaging.
Our goal is in seeking a sustainable solution to producing a local artisan salt with a focus on reducing our carbon footprint. We rely almost entirely on use solar and wind energy to evaporate pristine water collected right here from the protected waters of Bulls Bay, located just minutes north of Charleston.
Being eco friendly with our packaging is important to us so our grinders and jars are refillable and the refill bags are compostable.