The Farm Cycle Continues

Back to where it all started! In Preparation of our 42nd Season
Yesterday Seth and Charmaine visited the Fishers Island Oyster Farm where we source our seed each spring. Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farms' founder Seth Garfield worked on Fishers Island Oyster Farm in the late 1970s prior to starting our farm on Cuttyhunk Island. Anyone who has worked with us on the West End will recognize the raft design still in use on Cuttyhunk and Fishers Island today! Enjoy some photos from our tour!

Parent oysters are hand selected for size and appearance, and by gradual warming in holding tanks are gently coaxed into spawning to create the next generation of oysters.
Millions of baby oysters grow in the hatchery, nourished by lab grown plankton. These baby oysters will be our seed in 2024 and on your table in 2025.
Once oysters are robust enough to survive in the wild they are placed into systems known as FLUPSYs to continue growing, consuming plankton provided by Mother Nature. Oysters are famously known as environmentally beneficial filter feeders, one oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day.
The final step in the seed lifecycle is to be distributed in nets and hung from bouys to continue to grow. Fishers Island has a Salt Pond similar to our own on Cuttyhunk.
Anyone who has worked with us will recognize these lantern nets, which contain 100 oysters per tier. Yes, those are 5 tiered nets which can weight up to 100 pounds! On our farm we use 2 and 3 tiered nets (phew!).
We are very grateful to the Malinowski family for their hard work growing the best seed in the business for the last 30 years, for their industry and environmental leadership via The Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition and The Billion Oyster Project.
Lastly, ending on a fun note, please join us at Saltbox Cafe in Concord from 4-6pm today Friday March 3 for oysters and beer. Support two family farms in one delicious "shucks and suds" event!
This time of year we are doing maintenance and getting ready to plant the 2023 crop. If there's anyone out there who wants to be a volunteer Oyster Farmer for a Day, email me, I might call you for help! The job requires heavy lifting and you can't be squeamish about crabs or eels, sea grapes squirting you in the face, or getting muddy. Otherwise, best job in the world!

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