|Wild oysters on the North Carolina Coast. Oct. 2014|
Oyster season opens this week on the North Carolina Coast ... and so does Season Three of Oyster Stew.
|Virginia announced plans for a|
Virginia Oyster Trail.
Photo from virginiaoystertrail.com
The biggest oyster story of the year was the battle all the way to the Supreme Court to save Drakes Bay Oyster Company. For fans of Drakes Bay oysters, it's been a heartbreaking end. In a recently announced settlement with the government, employees will receive relocation and reemployment assistance. It turns out the Lunny family isn't out of the oyster business - they've recently announced plans to stay in town and open Drakes Oyster House. Drakes Bay oysters will still be available through the end of 2014, so catch one if you can.
FED UP FRENCH
|Laser Engraved Oyster Shells from the Gillardeau Oyster Farm|
Photo from RFI, English
I'm following a story out of France that could have big implications for oyster farmers everywhere. The world famous Gillardeau oyster farm is sick of distributors and restaurants ripping off their brand and selling fake Gillardeau oysters like a knockoff Kate Spade bag in Chinatown. The Gillardeau's have multi-million franc plans to engrave their logo on oyster shells. Manifique! I wish everyone would do it. It would surely cut down on all the counterfeits served, on purpose or not, in American restaurants. Stay tuned.
TAKING IT COAST TO COAST
|2015 Oyster Trailblazer Calendar|
Here's a quick look at what's been happening in some coastal states.
Alabamians. Looking for a holiday gift for your favorite oyster eater? Consider purchasing the 2015 Oyster Trailblazer Calendar - all proceeds benefit the oyster gardening program and education.
Delawareans. I hope all sides can find a way to give aquaculture a shot. No one wants a factory in their backyard, but commercial farms do not have to be round-the-clock operations and a marine eyesore. In the right setting, oyster cages become part of the landscape - like sailboats and buoys.
Hawaiians. So excited about the first oysters in a generation to be grown in Hawaii in ancient fish ponds. How do they taste? Word is that they have large notes of algae and seaweed.
Mainers. You Mainiacs have it going on ... and everyone is starting to notice. No state, in my opinion, has a more exciting oyster industry at the moment. With a high concentration of successful women-owned oyster farms, oyster bars that frequently make the Top 10 lists, and consistently outstanding oysters ... you have earned bragging rights for 2014.
|Photo from Marylander.gov|
Marylanders. Two thumbs up for the 1,000 waterfront property owners who volunteer for the Marylanders Grow Oysters program, including the inmates who make the oyster cages. After all, isn't that what oysters teach us - that we're all in this together?
New Jerseyans. Bravo for growing your commercial oyster industry, but please make sure to keep plenty of room for your boutique oysters ... Cape Shore Salts in Cape May are a gift from the oyster gods.
North Carolinians. It looks like years spent building up reefs and limiting the daily amount of oysters commercial and recreational oystermen can harvest is starting to pay off. Early reports from the inlets indicate a good crop despite less than ideal weather.
|Photo from SCDNR|
South Carolinians. You know I love your oysters - from Brunswick down to Beaufort - but you really need to pick up the pace on recycling oyster shells. DNR says residents and business only recycle 50% of the oyster shells they need to make new beds and build new ones. Encourage your favorite SC eatery to recycle their shells. Here's more info about the SC DNR Oyster Recycling and Restoration Program.
Now we're all caught up on what's been happening during the break. It's going to be a great oyster season. I'll see you here each week (more or less). As always, I love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!