I know it has been awhile.
A LOT, has been going on.
J has finally arrived in Boston and we have been apartment hunting, getting him ready for school and trying to get our lives together, ya feel me?!
We found an apartment in the fun neighborhood called Sommerville. Once we get to know the area a bit more I’ll fill you all in on the juicy deats of the hood.
In some more fun news, last week J and I visited the cutest little near the cape, Duxbury, where we took a tour of the Island Creek Oyster Farm.
First of all, oysters. We LOVE them.
There is something so luxurious, yet cheeky about them, ya know?
They are a treat within themselves and I love the briny, straight out of the ocean taste. SO fresh.
They are great on their own, but I do love some lemon, horseradish and Tabasco every now and again 😊
Anyways, with J finally getting up here, I wanted to do something fun with him and show him a different part of the state all while eating oysters which is one of both of our favorite indulgences.
Duxbury is a coastal town about 35 miles southeast of Boston and is filled with a bunch of historical homes that the pilgrims used to live in and is the 6th largest cranberry producer in Massachusetts PLUS we can’t forget about their super famous oysters!
So, when I used to live in Boston I would go out for oysters and champagne with the girls pretty frequently. My fave oysters were from Duxbury because of their size and taste (that brininess gets me every time), so I was beyond excited to finally go there!
When we got to the farm we were greeted by a friendly staff and a bottle of champagne from one of their sellers, Bill (currently I am working at this awesome restaurant, Terra, whom Bill sells oysters too).
SO nice right!
Our tour guide was this awesome dude named C.J., he seemed like he could have been from Cali with his laid back attitude, long hair and cool sense of style.
Let me tell you something; I had no idea what work went into oyster farming.
Me being me, I was picturing just popping them out of the ocean and onto my plate. I mean, what were you thinking?
Island Creek is not only a wholesaler, but they are growers. Like, they actually GROW the oysters.
C.J. took us up the upwellers, nursery, back river, harvesting and processing center.
If you are thinking what are those things, we are in the same boat.
Luckily C.J. went over it all with us.
First off: seed arrivals.
Hatcheries from all over New England, including their own, send all the oyster seeds to the farm in Duxbury.
Once the seeds arrive they place them in an “upweller,” which is a silo, made by hand at the farm, which secures the babies in mesh so that they won’t fall out when placed into the water.
The boxes sit under a dock with water and nutrients being pumped in through them.
The nutrients, or food; algae, is created by the farm team in a lab.
It legit looked like one of those crazy laboratories that had a bunch of tubes filled with colorful shit in it.
It was super crazy yet cool how they can create a particular strand of algae that is found in the ocean in a lab.
The seeds grow to about ¼ inch in the upwellers and then are moved into a nursery.
“about 1200 oyster seeds go into each bag, the ends of which are secured with PVC pipe; the bags then go into the cages which sit on the bottom of the bay in a staggered pattern of rows, allowing for maximum water and air flow. The oysters sit in the nursery for about 2 to 3 months (late June through September), continuing to double in size until they are about 2 inches in length.”
When they are about the length of a pinkie finger they are ready to be planted on the ocean floor.
Different farmers have different ways to plant, but ultimately the oysters take about 18 months to become strong to harvest. Usually the harvest a.k.a. time to eat, are picked by hand during low tide on the mud flats in the ocean. The other was is by dragging nets to pick up as many oysters as they can at one time.
So, guys, picture this. All while our awesome tour guide was explaining this we were sitting on this cute little boat in the middle of the ocean shucking fresh oysters and enjoying the water.
All in all:
I was seriously shocked to find out how the oyster was born and made it to a plate.
Are there any things you thought were one way but really where another?
Also, how do you feel about oysters? Does anybody have any good recipes?
Should I do some oyster recipe testing for the summer season?
If you get a chance to check out the Island Creek Farm, sign up quick as spots book soon!
Talk to you later.