Cuttyhunk Oysters from Cuttyhunk, MA
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These oysters are available for delivery THIS WEEK ONLY. Please select a delivery date in checkout accordingly. We cannot process orders for these oysters for dates beyond this week.
Farmer: Seth Garfield
Location: Cuttyhunk Island, Gosnold, MA
Size: Selects: 2.5-3”
How they’re grown: Seth purchases his seed from Fisher Island in New York (where Seth worked in the ‘70s). The seed is scooped into round, 3-tiered Japanese Lantern nets (about 500 per net), sewn up, and suspended via buoy in the water column of the salty West End Pond. They’re hand-harvested after an 18-24 month grow out.
How they taste: A twice-daily 2-3 foot tidal flow, plus tons of naturally occurring phytoplankton in the pond, give Cuttyhunks their signature briny, yet sweet taste, like salted butter. Tender, bouncy meats are nestled in hard, mottled shells with a nearly perfect round cull.
Why they’re unique: The West End Pond is narrowly separated from Buzzards Bay by a thin strip of beach, and marked by a giant stone monument that pays homage to (arguably) the first pre-Jamestown settlement here in 1602. The inlet that leads to the ocean lets the water from the Bay flow in and out, keeping it clean and well mixed. The clean, salty water is also home to many striped bass, crabs, eels, and other sea life.
Cuttyhunk Oysters are trademarked so they are the one and only. In 1992, Seth created a mobile raw bar to cater to boats moored in the harbor, serving oysters, clams & shrimp, and it has been a wildly popular tourist destination ever since.
Story: A teacher for 25 years, Seth’s passion for teaching shines through on the farm. His crew is often peppered with local teens, some of whom go on to study aquaculture. He’s now on his second generation of crew; teenagers that worked on the farm 40 years ago are sending their kids to learn shellfishing under his tutelage. Farm manager, Charmaine, started working for Seth when she was 17, and when she moved back to the island full time, her daughters and nieces came onboard as well. Seth is adamant that his staff work with him, not for him, and will give anyone who’s interested in shellfishing a chance.
The internet will tell you there are about 50 people that live here, but Seth, a third-generation native, says many less. Sometimes he’s the only person on the island in the winter and has fallen into the de facto role of town do-it-all-er. In addition to running Cuttyhunk Shellfish, Seth is the town historian, he helps run the power plant, mows lawns, digs graves, and he started the recycling program on the island. As a Coast Guard vet, and with one of the only cars on the island, he holds court as chief EMT and chief firefighter. He and his wife, Dorothy, the town librarian, regularly host lobster bakes for the public in their backyard.