We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Some form of cutlivation of the Eastern (or American) Oyster has been going on for 150 years on Cape Cod, especially in Wellfleet. At first, this just consisted of importing wild oysters from elsewhere in their Atlantic or Gulf coast range, and giving them a while to absorb that special Wellfleet flavor.
There is no way that one small harbor could support the nationwide demand for naturally-produced Wellfleet Oysters.
As we sat on the deck watched the oystermen at work on their cages at low tide, we wondered where they buy the baby oysters.
I found out how the whole system works (link has great photos). The laboratory-bred spat from the hatcheries are bought by nurseries, then they are sold to the watermen who do the "grow-out" of the seed oysters. It is quite remarkable. No wonder they aren't cheap.
Photo on top: large scale commercial oyster grow-out in the southern US Photo on bottom: oystermen tending their oyster cages in Wellfleet at low tide. Production is limited by town regulations, so there is no industrial-scale production and all are beach-bottom cultured instead of being grown on rafts, slowing their growth but making them tastier.
Have you tried the oysters from Dennis? I think I remember one of the farmers (?) telling me that the flats have only been worked for a couple of years. They're good, too!
I was amazed to find out that the oysters are overwintered in giant refrigerator.
Back-breaking work, but then again, isn't all farming?
Bird Dog dear ,,, Oyster aquaculture is all very well. I understand that they're delicious, at least my husband thinks so. But what I really want is 'lobster aquaculture.' I flat-out adore lobsters and they're very scarce down here on the Gulf, except for the spiny kind. In fact, we have to import them at great expense. If I had a source of lobsters, I'd never eat any other kind of shellfish.
Stouffers used to market a wonderful frozen dinner of Lobster Newburg, which I bought and guzzled down a lot in my single days, when I lived up North. One could heat it up in the oven in half an hour, and serve it over rice cooked in orange juice, and it was pretty tasty stuff. If you have any influence at all with the Stouffer's people, maybe you could convince them to market this old lady's dream of a dinner again.
P.S. If rice cooked in orange juice sounds 'too kooky' to you, try it sometime with crab or lobster. You might be surprised.