Aug. 20th, 2012

Island Creek Oysters | A Day in The Life of a Sea Farmer

Island Creek Oysters/ David Grossyman
Photo Courtesy of Island Creek Oysters/ David Grossman
Ever wondered how an oyster farm works? Now is your chance to find out. Island Creek Oysters of Duxbury is hosting a limited number of farm tours this summer where you can see the start-to-finish farming process of the crown jewel of the sea. Whether you like them kicked up with some fiery horseradish, lightly flavored with mignonette, or straight up with just a squeeze of lemon, one thing is for certain – they have got to be shucked just right.

But before they even make it to a restaurant, there is an intricate and time consuming harvesting process that starts off with “special seed suited for Duxbury Bay,” said Chris Sherman, director of marketing. He took us on a private up-close farm tour, and s step inside the surprisingly modest location right on Duxbury Bay gives a firsthand look at the growing process.
Island Creek Oysters

From witnessing test-tube style tanks where algae is grown to feed the oysters, to an on-site hatchery where the oysters are bred, the Island Creek farm tour offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a behind-the-scenes tour on how oysters come to fruition. “We are more about lab coats and test tubes than rubber boots,” Sherman joked. Next up is the processing float known as the OysterPlex where you will take a boat out to the bay and see harvesters hand picking and culling the ocean for oysters.

“We look for oysters that are three inches or larger for us to sell here in Boston, which is the minimum requirement in Massachusetts,” Sherman said. “The oysters are then sent through a sorter to determine the different sizes. Oysters really improve the water quality in the bay by providing added filtration, which makes the water clearer with more oxygen in the water so more fish can grow.”

That simple philosophy has turned this local business into a well-known, nationwide brand, selling more than five million oysters each year to 65 restaurants in Boston, 70 in New York City and 100 other restaurants across the country, including the exclusive French Laundry in Napa Valley. The best part awaits the end of the tour – the opportunity to sample oysters picked fresh out of the water.

Summer in Boston just doesn’t get much better than this! To book a farm tour or for more information, call (781) 934-2028 or visit

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Kellie K. Speed
Is a freelance travel writer with more than 20 years experience. She provides, travel and restaurant reviews, luxury pieces, product features for magazines such ... Luxury NEWS >