top of page

Oyster farming, Shuck Yeah !

Who knew it was even a thing to do ? Not me !!

Sure I love oysters and have heard all about their aphrodisiac properties (wink wink) but never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that someday I'd be farming them. Frankly, I didn't even know that the term “farming” applied to them.

There is no shortage of local oysters (and other shellfish) available on the North Fork.

My go to take out seafood for the last 15 odd years for oysters, clams, Peconic bay scallops (before that season was sadly all but decimated) has always been Southold Fish market (pro tip call ahead to have them shuck in advance so no waiting). Always a bounty of available fresh caught fish there, you can't go wrong with anything and everything you pick up there. If you don't feel like cooking, they'll even prepare it for you.

A few years ago the women from Little Ram Oyster co set up their farm stand in our Southold neighborhood and as their tag line says they are fresh AND freaking delicious. Top them with their spicy bang bang sauce on raw oysters or their compound bourbon butter on grilled ones. OMG I'm in foodie heaven now. Fast forward a few years later and they now have a retail location at the newly opened Shoals hotel. Their take over on Wednesday evenings of the food truck there, is a must do delicious experience.

With so many places to get your oyster fix, you might be wondering, why exactly then am I farming my own oysters ?

It's a simple answer, it's what we do here on the North Fork.

Once you live here, you can't help but be drawn to the NoFo way of life. Surrounded by farms, interacting with farmers you are acutely aware of what it takes to grow a tomato or garlic. After waiting an entire year for Peconic bay scallop season and 3 years in a row the fishermen return home disappointed as it crushes a whole industry, you feel its ripple effects. L Living here it's almost impossible not to become more aware of where your food comes from and the pleasure in eating and sustaining local foods.

So when a friend mentioned the Cornell Cooperative Marine Extension’s SPAT program and what they are doing with shellfish to restore the bays, I had to go

It's year ONE of us in this program and so far its benefits far outweigh anything I could have imagined. The membership was actually a Christmas present from me to hubby a something we could share and do together (instead of the usual wine and dine gatherings). In my younger days if you told me that oyster farming would some day count as date night, I'd have laughed and thought you cray cray.

And yet here we are, happy as clams (pun intended), waist deep in the bay, power washing oyster cages and nurturing nature, while constantly being reminded and grateful for the endless way in which she nurtures us.

Next year if we manage to keep these babies thriving, in addition to the satisfaction of knowing that we did our small part to help restore the bays, we will potentially reap the harvest of having some delicious oysters to enjoy as well.

I'm picturing inviting all my friends and family (at least the ones I like) for a North Fork casual, picnic set up -by the beach, a glass of sparking bubbly (local of course) in hand, against the warm glow of the setting sun, a dash of lemon juice on a freshly shucked oyster.

How shucking fun does that sound !



Sunita is a blogger (is that a writer who adds photos?) who moved to the North Fork with her husband and their one eyed dog (Pirate Pepper) at the start of their empty nesting phase. She's working towards embracing minimalism (not even close yet) and living life in the pursuit of happiness. A lot of her happiness and zen comes from watching and capturing her daily sunset view that she shares on her instagram at @nofostyle

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page