If you have been thinking about raising your own oysters, now is the time to get out there and do it. We have everything you need to get started.
Oyster gardening is really easy...
OYSTER SEED + WATER + TIME = Oyster Roast, Oyster Rockefeller, Oyster Stew, Oysters on the half shell.....
There are gardeners who handle their oysters every week, and there are some who handle their oysters once a summer. They both end up with oysters they can eat or plant on their own oyster reef they have created.
Oyster gardening is fun, good for the environment, and something you can do year-round in the Chesapeake Bay. Below are some of the items that we offer to help you raise oysters in just about every water condition found around the Bay.
This is the most common piece of oyster gardening of equipment. They come in a range of sizes: 2x3, 2x6, and 2x8. Any size variation with vinyl coated wire and pvc pipe for floatation with top for access to the oysters is going to be called a Taylor Float.
We offer a built 2x3 Taylor Float for $80 or you can buy the wire from us and build your own.
Flip floats are oyster floats that can be flipped over from one side to the other to help control fouling on the piece of equipment and make cleaning the oysters a little easier as well.
We offer two varieties: the Float Cage and the Bag Float.
The Float Cage is made of 1x1 wire and PVC floatation and can either hold a growout bag for small oysters or larger oysters directly and it costs $50. The Bag Float takes one of our growout bags and adds UV resistant floats to the side. These floats give it rigidity because they are attached along the whole edge of the bag, so the bag doesn't fold under the weight of the oysters as is often the experience when using soda bottles. Bag Floats built cost $30.
TRAYS AND CAGES
If you prefer going to the bottom to grow your oysters, the two high one wide (2H1W) cage or the 2x3 single tray are ideal. They are both inexpensive, $35 for the 2H1W and $45 for the 2x3 single.
Why go to the bottom? To avoid rough water, out of sight out of mind from all prying eyes or sticky fingers (yes it happens), or you just enjoy going in the water to work your oysters. In 1'-4' of water, you are still in the upper water column where all of the good food is located for fast oyster growth.
GROWOUT BAGS (OYSTER BAGS)
Bags are the cheapest way to go for growing oysters. We sell them for $5/bag at our shows and markets for our gardeners. They come in a variety of sizes; 4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 13mm, 24mm being the most common. The smaller the mesh size, the smaller the seed can go in them. The bags can be used in conjunction with most of the other equipment listed above or you can attach some soda bottles to them to make floats or create a rack on the bottom from rebar of pvc pipe for them to sit on.
Just let us know what you want as far as triploids(non-reproductive) or diploids(reproducers) and then sizes. Triploids tend to grow faster. Usually you get what we have available but if you let us know early enough we take orders.
Seed is sold by the thousand counts and is priced anywhere from $25/1000 to $75/1000 based on size. As of today (9/28/2012), our seed is $45/1000 sieved off 1/2" screen and $60/1000 sieved off 3/4" screen and we have plenty of it.
We do sell it by the scoop (so smaller quantities) at our gardener shows and events as well.
WE ARE YOUR ONE STOP SHOP IF YOU WANT TO GROW OYSTERS!!!
START GROWING THIS WEEKEND AND HAVE YOUR OWN OYSTER RAW BAR AT THE END OF YOUR DOCK WITH YOUR FRIENDS!!!!!!!