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Farmed By the Suddard Family
Farmed and harvested from the South Bay of Massachusetts in New English
Farmer: Suddard Family – The Suddard Family has been oystering in Onset for more than 100 years. The coastal leases they work today were granted by a Civil War General to the late Ben Suddard’s great-grandfather. Oyster seeds are planted in an upweller then transferred to float cages to provide optimal nutrients for the best growth and superior flavor profile.
Flavor Profile: Salty, slightly sweet brininess with a complementing minerality, with hints of butter, celery and eelgrass.
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Iconic Duxbury oysters grown by Don Merry, one of the original Island Creekers. Seed is raised in upwellers, bags, and cages, then bottom-planted when it’s about 1.5 inches, where it grows into a firm, strong-shelled, rich tasting three-inch oyster. Harvested by hand or dredge, depending on the tides.
“Duxbury Bay’s unique tidal flow and cool waters that combine with high salinity to create the perfect growing environment for oysters. Recognized for their salty-sweet balance and clean finish, the Duxbury oyster has remarkable consistency of texture and taste throughout the four seasons."
Farmer: "All Merry Oysters are raised and harvested on Don’s lease in Duxbury Bay, using solar power and sustainable, low impact practices. Don is committed to running a green farm and is continually working to improve his environmental footprint.”
Flavor Profile: Duxbury Oysters are very briny with plump meats set in deep cups with a sweet, buttery finish.
Flavor Profile: quite salty, with a slight sweetness in the finish.
Chris initially grows oysters in mesh bags, using the French rack-and-bag system. Later, the oysters are transferred into metal grow-out cages, where they sit on the bottom of the bay from one-and-a-half to two years — until they reach 2.5 to 3 inches, to be marketed as “petite” or “cocktail” oysters, or 3 inches or more to be marketed as “select” oysters. (He also digs for wild razor clams and quahogs.)
Farmer: Chris Crobar grew up working on his father’s clam boat. Today, he sets his hours not by the clock, but by the tide. He has been raising oysters for five years on his two-acre farm in the Cape Cod Bay — just beyond First Encounter Beach, the location of the first meeting between the Nauset people and the Pilgrims.
Flavor Profile: meaty, clean, mild brine
The oysters are tumbled several times while they are growing. After they reach the desired size, they are bottom planted on the hard sand for the remainder of their life cycle. This combination produces an oyster that has a hard shell which makes shucking an easy task. They range in size from petite to large.
Cotuit Oysters are recognized for their unique briny flavor unlike any other. Fresh water streams, marshes and estuaries combined with the clean water entering from Nantucket Sound provide our oysters with a rich food supply.
Flavor Profile: moderately salty with a sweet finish.
Chatham Shellfish Company has been cultivating Chatham Oysters on its lease site since 1976. The well-known east coast oyster with year-round availability has captivated the oyster aficionado’s attention for decades in local, regional, and national markets the last 40 years. Oysters are available in petite, small, and extra-large sizes. These grades of the Chatham Oyster are selected for their deep cup and round shape.
Flavor Profile: Strong mineral brine and plump, rich meats with a lingering slate finish.
Farmer David Arrone
Cotuit Oyster Company
Shellfish farming in particular may be the only form of commercial-scale protein production that provides a net benefit to the environment where it is grown. Oysters are natural ocean cleaners and protect the ecosystem
Scroll through to see all the hard work farmers take to get the perfect oyster on your plate.
Bottom planting is as close as you can get to wild oyster growing. Spat is spread on the ocean floor and thrives in the same water and living conditions as wild oysters.
Pros: produces tough and healthy shells. Cons: farmers lose oysters to nature.
The salty liquid or “liquor” of an oyster.
Metal cages that hold bags of oyster seed to protect them from predators and harsh ocean conditions.
Housed inside cages, they provide more protection to the oysters.
Adapted from French aquaculture. Hundreds of oysters are placed in grow-out bags fastened to rebar racks which elevate the oysters above the ocean floor. This elevation allows superior tidal flow to encompass the oysters so they can easily feast on natural phytoplankton and nutrients in the water column.
Methods of growing that keeps oysters above the ocean floor.
Pros: oysters are more enclosed and protected, producing higher yield. Cons: More money and effort spent on growing gear.
Floating oysters typically never dry out and get the benefit of high wave activity that naturally tumbles them.
Baby oysters after they have set to a grow structure.
Trays serve the same function as grow-out bags but can be stacked to maximize space.
Promotes uniform and strong shells by chiseling oysters in a tumbler or naturally by tides
A water flow system that constantly pumps nutrient-rich water up through and around the oyster seed to feed them phytoplankton and other nutrients.