Fourteen months ago, Kevin and I put 200,000 10-centimeter oysters out on our grant. By this January, they were about two inches, and we took them all out and put them in a cooler over the winter. In April, we put them back out.
Today is our first harvest. Seven thousand of those 200,000 go to market, and I will tell you that they are beautiful. They are uniform and deep-cupped. They are meaty and mineraly. It is not an exaggeration to say they are world-class.
We can’t take all the credit. Their flavor and texture come primarily from the water, their deep-cuppedness and uniformity primarily from their genetics. What we did was care for them in such a way that they were able to reach their full potential; Kevin laid the farm out so that we didn’t crowd them, and he made sure they got moved around a bit and that we kept the equipment reasonably free of the biofoul that can impede water flow.
As we were washing the 7000, our friend and wholesaler, Dave Ryan, came over to look. Dave’s the best oysterman we know, and what success we’ve had raising oysters has largely come from shamelessly imitating techniques he has developed over three decades in the business. He confirmed that they were indeed beautiful, top-quality oysters. “You should be proud of them,” he told us.
We are. We are very proud of them.