Available for a limited time only.
Farmer: Ryan Smith
Location: Katama Bay, Martha's Vineyard, MA
Size: Selects: 2.5”
How they’re grown: Almost every piece of machinery on Ryan’s farm is powered by either wind or tide. His oyster seed is started in one of 3 tidal-powered upwellers before they’re placed into floating bins to keep them round while promoting a thick hinge right from the start. When they reach about ¾”, they’re planted in grow bags 100 at a time and loaded into off-bottom cages. A daily spin in a wind power tumbler helps to chip the edges and encourage a deep cup. As much as Ryan wants people to love eating them, he wants people to enjoy shucking them and prides himself on an easy to open oyster.
How they taste:These oysters are bright, salty and pleasant—just like a trip to the Vineyard! We get an intense saltiness up front (almost like biting into a caper!), that mellows into vegetal notes and a roasted sweet potato finish.
Why they’re unique: Ryan’s farm is strategically located in the deepest part of Katama Bay where the water flow is the strongest. This brings in plenty of fresh, delicious food, and keeps the oysters chilling (literally) in the coolest, deepest water possible. This means the oysters are always fully submerged, and able to eat 24 hours a day.
Story: Ryan was raised on Martha’s Vineyard by a commercial fisherman dad, and grew up spending time working on boats. While he always had commercial fishing in mind as a future career path, it’s a tough job with strict regulations, fluctuating seasons, and the constant threat of overfishing. Dad eventually convinced Ryan that the smartest route was to grow his own shellfish and have control over everything, rather than relying on mother nature. In 2006, he purchased the two available Katama leases with his wife and dove headfirst into oyster farming. Today, Ryan and Julia have made Signature Oyster Farm a family business and love involving their three kids. In addition to looking after a whole bunch of oysters, the family also takes care of 40 chickens, two ducks, and a pet bull named Snowflake. The jury’s still out on Snowflake’s shucking skills.