Oyster Farmers

“I love telling people I’m an oyster farmer,” Eric said to me. “They have no idea what I’m talking about.” To be honest, I didn’t (really) either til I visited the Peconic Pearls oyster farm. Hidden away in Southold (sort of, since it’s located on Oysterpond Road), the Peconic Pearl farm looks like a cross between a munitions factory and an abandoned boat dock. But it’s where Karen Rivara (and Eric Mullwe, at left) are farming oysters, the aptly-monikered Peconic Pearls. The munitions factory aka the “bunker” is where millions of tiny oyster seeds that look more like bits of sand than bivalves to me, are spawned into bar snacks. “I start with about 60 million eggs,” Karen said to me, “But I usually end up with only four million actual oysters.” At fifty cents apiece or so that didn’t sound so terrible to me. On the other hand, after a tour of the facilities- from the bunker (a half-underground building) to the greenhouse where Karen cultivates algae to the boat shed where oysters are also spawned- it sure looked like a lot of hard work. You can find Karen’s Peconic Pearls (she also sells Mystic Oysters, harvested in Mystic, Connecticut) in all the best restaurants and bars in New York, including of course, the Grand Central Oyster Bar. And by ordering Karen’s oysters you can not only eat well but do good, since anywhere from five to twenty cents of the price goes back to the Peconic Land Trust.

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One response to this post.

  1. I guess Peconic Pearl oysters doesn’t have a website; I was wondering where to get them/taste them, on my next visit.

    Reply

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