It’s late April. Most farmers have just finished planting their crops. Bren Smith is not planting. He is harvesting his crops in Long Island Sound, New York. Smith has an unusual crop. Instead of growing corn or wheat, he grows seaweed. 

Welcome to the world of ocean farming!

Bren Smith checks the seaweed on his farm.

A Hidden Farm

On the water, it’s easy to miss Smith’s farm. You must look for clues. Rows of white floating balls called buoys bob up and down. Follow them with your eyes. Connect them with make-believe lines. That’s the border of the farm.

Look closer. Black buoys form long lines. They mark rows of crops. You won’t see the crops. On an ocean farm, the crops are underwater.

These black and white buoys are part of Bren Smith's ocean farm.

A New Kind of Farming

Smith has always loved fishing. But in some places, too many fish are being taken out of the ocean. They can’t be replaced. This is called overfishing. It troubled him.

Meet Bren Smith.

Bren Smith hauls in a basket from his ocean farm.

Smith wanted to work in a sustainable way. That means using something without using it up. Seaweed was the answer.