The cultivation process, from tiny seedling to hearty bivalve.
We buy our oyster seeds from the most reputable hatcheries in New England, ensuring the highest quality adult oysters. Once out on the flats, we use several different methods to grow our oysters. We use a variety of cages and bags to cultivate the seedlings, and facilitate their growth from mere centimeters to market size.
During the growing season (March to December), we take the short boat ride to our Plymouth lease located on White’s Flat, an eighty acre intertidal zone. During low tide, we tend to hundreds of cages and several different generations of oysters. Our oysters are cage grown, meaning that we do not broadcast the oysters onto the mud flats. Although growing in cages is a lengthier process than broadcasting, it ensures that we do not lose a high percentage of our oysters to predators, silting, or strong currents. We also find that our oysters strongly mirror the distinct briny taste of Plymouth and Cape Cod Bay.
During the off-season (January and February), we store our oysters indoors in a temperature controlled environment. This is possible because after the ocean temperature drops below 40 degrees fahrenheit, the oysters effectively begin to hibernate for the winter. When kept at the right temperature and humidity, the oysters will “sleep” for several months, until we reintroduce them to ocean waters at temperatures above 40 degrees fahrenheit. We undertake this massive project of “overwintering” our oysters because our lease is vulnerable to strong northeast currents and ice flows. We want to ensure that every oyster makes it to adulthood!