Farmer: Kerian Fennelly
Location: Westport, MA
How They’re Grown: Once the Beach Plums have been in nurseries in the river, they head out to the deep water farm at the mouth of Buzzards Bay. It takes a 45-minute ride on a retired sea cucumber boat from Maine to get out to the ocean lease. It is here that the Beach Plums complete their grow out in huge tower cages suspended 10’ below the surface where they are constantly pounded by ocean swells.
How They Taste: This deepwater area produces an oyster with a bright blast of salinity up front (like Diamond Kosher salt) with dense creamy meats reminiscent of chicken thighs.
Why They’re Unique: Kerian operates the only two commercial oyster farms in Westport. Altogether, he has 78 acres, only 10 of which are currently being farmed---so plenty of room to grow! Beach Plums are named for the plants that cover the sand dunes and flower in Westport in June. Mark your calendars, it sounds like a great time to visit.
Story: Kerian and his wife, Kristin, started the farm in 2009 and were the first in Westport to receive an aquaculture grant. Talk about making history! Kerian has always been obsessed with the ocean. He received a degree in aquaculture and was lobstering before diving into the oyster world. Their first endeavor was the Beach Plum farm, which is an incredible ocean operation located directly at the mouth of Buzzards Bay. The Riptide project started several years later – oddly a stone’s throw away from the Beach Plum farm. Kerian and Kristin also opened up a raw bar, called Westport Sea Farms, located where they bring in their oysters. They have 3 daughters and 4 boats – so as you can probably guess – one is named for each daughter and the big ocean boat is named the ‘Kristin Marie.’ Kerian is innovative, full of energy and just an all-around nice dude.