General Inquiries: Matt Gregg [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] 760-685-3786
Q: Where do the oysters come from?
A: Our oysters are spawned in a hatchery using an old line (pedigree) of wild oysters. Once they reach 2 mm, they go into our land based nursery where they will double in size every 5-10 days. Once they reach 10 mm, they are put on the farm where they will remain for 1-3 years.
Q: Isn't aquaculture bad?
A: While we can't speak on behalf of other industry practices, oyster farming (and generally all shellfish farming) has a net positive impact on the local environment. Oysters feed on algae. Remove oysters from the equation and algae can grow out of control creating a blanket. That blanket will block the sun, killing wigeon and eel grass. These grasses are absolutely essential for all aquatic species. As the algae dies, it drops to the bay floor creating oxygen depleted mud not fit for any life (except maybe jellyfish). [Side-note we are working on a grant to harvest, process and sell macro-algae as food!]
Q: Well, if oysters create all of these ecological services, why harvest them?
A: For every oyster sold, we reinvest in another ten. Eating oysters while improving the environment. What a great thing!
Q: Why not harvest wild oysters?
A: Sadly, the tongers and dredgers on the Atlantic Coast are as hard to find as the wild oysters themselves. Even though we use different techniques, we like to think that their legacy lives on through us. Our work preserves that way of life and we hope to pass it on to the next generation.
Q: Why New Jersey? I drove through that State when I was a kid and it was gross.
A: If you want to draw conclusions on a 8000+ square mile state because of what our interstate highway looks like then shame on you. Truth be told, New Jersey does have a great deal of populous urban areas. It also has mountains, wetlands, forest and white sand beaches. Our oyster farms are located near undeveloped areas. Water testing is mandated by the Federal Government (FDA) and the results are consistently well above approved standards. Being far enough away, but close enough to major culinary hubs puts us at a clear advantage. We provide the freshest live oysters for Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey.
Q: I own a restaurant and want to feature your oysters. How do I do this?
A: We are an Interstate Certified Shellfish Shipper, which means we can sell direct to restaurants. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy forced us to rebuild our stock. We are working hard to get our numbers back up, but it does take time (2-3 years). Currently there is a wait list to buy oysters that we hope to overcome this coming season. Be sure to Email us so we can take your information.
Q: What is the difference between all these oysters I am seeing in raw bars?
A: All oysters grown on the Atlantic seaboard are the same species. Where they grow affects how they taste and look. Just like wine, oysters take on the flavors of the region they grow in. Salinity, access to food, water flow all will change the way an oyster tastes. The way we grow them, will change the way they look. We do our best to manicure our crop so that the shells are deep and strong (ideal for shucking/serving). Oysters are truly a product of nature AND nurture.
Q: I love oysters and want to buy some to eat. Can I?
A: Yes, we are licensed Aquatic Farmers, which means we are protected under the Right To Farm Act. So long as the product we are selling is not processed we can sell direct. That being said, there are inherent risks in eating raw or undercooked shellfish. We suggest you research these risks and take personal responsibility. Also, we will only sell oysters that will be kept cold (under 45 degrees), so bring a cooler. Email us at least a week before.