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Feb 6th, 2015

An Oysterman’s Supplemental Income


I drag an eight afoot tin skiff to the waterline two hours before low tide. I load the skiff with the tools of my trade: a black fish tote, a five gallon bucket, a smaller bucket with the bottom cut out, mesh shellfish bags, and a few six-tined clam rakes. I row the skiff across a river to a mud flat that is slowly exposed as the tide recedes. I […]

Jan 21st, 2015

Some Oysters Have A Story


Hey, guess what? That oyster you’re about to eat had a cooler Tuesday than you did. No offense. A week ago, I had the privilege of visiting the First Encounter Oyster farm in Eastham. Lows were hovering at a willful 19 degrees, with winds anticipated to reach somewhere in the 60-knot range. A dream of a day, really. I wore two pairs of socks. First Encounters are grown along the […]

Jan 7th, 2015

Ever wonder what oysters do all winter?

Winter on Duxbury Bay

As most things in the natural world, oysters endure rather than enjoy the winter. Oysters spend the spring, summer and fall happily filtering cool, salty bay-water, extracting nutrients from plankton, and growing the meat inside their shell. As the bay cools in November oysters begin to ready themselves for the coldest three months of the year. As winter approaches, filtering and growth slows down. When the temperature of the bay […]

Dec 19th, 2014

Life on the Bay in December


It’s not hard to tell when December casts its wintry pall across the bay. Daylight hours are cut in half and skim ice forms on the marsh and tidal inlets.  Where have the days of 5 o’clock dawn and eight o’clock twilight gone? I guess to the other side of the globe. The girls in bikinis are gone too, replaced by rough looking oystermen sporting beards and extra layers of […]

Aug 19th, 2014

Summer Foraging Guide


Sun’s out, air’s fresh, the water’s warm. The Summer accepts no excuses from those who sit inside and lament boredom. The Summer reserves no sympathy for those who decline the open invitation to partake in all of the magnificent festivities the season has to offer. A little lint ball of a town in the winter, Duxbury’s good side (#selfie) is summer. Though there are only a few beach days left […]

Jul 21st, 2014

Anne Goes to the Farm


I’ve worked at Island Creek for about 2 years now.  When people ask me what I do for a living I say “I work for an oyster farm!”  People sort of give me the “up down” and are probably thinking “You work for an oyster farm? What does that even mean?” I then always follow up with “Well, I work in the office” and people nod their head as though […]

Jun 27th, 2014

Movin On Out


Duxbury Bay has been pretty cold this spring, which has delayed our ability to put the oyster babies out in the water. In the hatchery, the oyster larvae are grown in water that is heated to 78 degrees. Once they are big enough, they can tolerate colder water. Then when the bay temperature reaches the mid-50’s, the big oysters can move outside into our downweller system. This system pulls bay […]

Apr 11th, 2014

Mommy, Where Do Babies Come From?

Hannah Blog 2

We’ve been busy in the hatchery during the past few weeks growing and caring for some 14-day old oyster larvae. But first, let me back track and tell the story of how it all begins… The act of spawning is simple…yet complicated. The idea of reproducing oysters merely consists of mixing some eggs and sperm together; however getting them to do it is the tricky part. In nature, when the […]

Apr 2nd, 2014

Farming: The Real Deal


It is easy to forget that the planet we live on is as much alive as we are. Things move and circulate and breathe and die and feed in ancient and unprompted ways. In the age of digital tweets and star gazing apps, we lose that inborn ability to participate in the epic and natural rhythms of life. The part of us that tells us to eat more meat in the colder months, the part […]

Mar 21st, 2014

ICO NYC vs. “The Fuzz”

hannah blog2

I have a binary relationship with the police. On the one-hand, my brother-in-law is a good cop, a great one actually. He’s the police chief in Lunenburg, MA and he rocks a solid Tom Selleck mustache that has proved to be a beacon of the law. Timeless. Then there was the police chief in Harvard where I grew up – Officer Newman. I’m sure he’s a riot when he’s on […]