Abigail Pearl Oysters from Scarborough, ME
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Farmer: Abigail Carroll
Location: Scarborough, ME
How they’re grown: This variety of Nonesuch is grown in floating bags at the surface of the river. When fall arrives, the oysters will be stacked in trays and kept in deeper water for the winter months to protect the crop from the threat of ice and freezing temperatures. The trays will be un-stacked in the spring and spread over the more shallow parts of the lease until they reach market size. Since these oysters are raised off the bottom, they often produce snow-white shells.
How they taste: Abigail Pearls provide a delicately textured meat, with an estuarial mix of brine and sweetness, and distinct notes of sea-grass.
Why they’re unique: Grown off of Pine Point in Scarborough, ME, the Nonesuch River is fed by the waters of the protected Scarborough Marsh...the largest contiguous salt marsh in the state of Maine! The River boasts a Grade A water classification due to its "outstanding natural resource waters," which is why this area produces such great-tasting, healthy oysters!
Story: Maine native Abigail Carroll describes her entrance to the oyster trade as accidental. She lived in Paris for several years, trading stocks, consulting on business plans, dating a French Count, and living what she describes as a ‘clean and easy life’. After returning home to Maine, she agreed to help a friend write a business plan for an oyster farm with the caveat that she would NOT be getting her hands dirty--famous last words, as they say. After the business plans went awry, Abigail ended up owning the property, and much to her own surprise, she ‘cowboyed up’, bought a pair of waders, and started farming oysters. At the end of the day, not only are her hands dirty but she’s covered head to toe in mud, a small price to pay for the joy she gets handing bags of oysters over to her local community. She now proudly embodies the nickname she believes she’s earned, “The Oyster Lady”, and is involved in aquaculture efforts across Maine.