I recently visited Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, MA to get a better idea of how oyster farming works. They start with seed oysters purchased from Maine — one million of them fit into a small backpack. They are raised for a while in “upwellers” which are boxes fitted underneath the ends of docks that provide a constant flow of water using small 1/2 horsepower pumps. Once they get a bit larger, they are transferred to mesh bags and put onto floats. They are finally transferred to the bay, simply shoveling them out of the boats using a snowshovel. Then they were harvested by dragging the bottom.
We will be using their oysters for our November 7 Fannie Farmer dinner to be held in Boston. The first course was almost always oysters and these are terrific. The FrenchLaundry buys their oysters here among others.