• spatsummer2013_small

    We certainly hope so! Nathan found this shell out on the beach, completely COVERED in baby oysters from a spawn earlier this summer. Yay! This summer has been glorious… calm and warm… and the oysters are showing their appreciation. Let’s hope it keeps up!

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    Predator Sleuthing

    July 23, 2013

    What killed the oyster?

    If you find an intact empty shell on the beach, chances are pretty good a starfish ate it. (It also might have died of disease or other natural causes, but that’s a whole different story).
    starfishkill

    Starfish use their hydraulic tube feet to pull the oyster apart, then they evert their stomach and digest the oyster remotely. Read about it here. They are voracious oyster eaters, and this one is particularly greedy.
    starfishhog

    starfishhog2

    If you find a shell with one edge clipped off, assume the perpetrator was a rock crab or a big dungeness:
    crabkill

    If you find an oyster shell pockmarked with holes, a boring sponge probably helped bring about its demise. Boring sponges recycle calcium carbonate, a job that should become easier as ocean acidification weakens shells, facilitating the boring. Boring sponges are filter feeders and while they don’t actual eat the oysters, they do weaken the oysters, eventually causing death.

    Here’s a photo of an oyster infested with boring sponge:
    boringsponge

    If you find a shell with a single hole bored into it, it was probably eaten by a some kind of drill snail. European drill snails, Japanese drill snails, and native drill snails are all found on our farm. Drill snails feast on small oysters (think baby Pacifics, or Olympias of all sizes). Moon snails are also drilling snails, but we’re not sure if they eat oysters. We know for sure that they eat the heck out of clams, however. The soft shell clam below just barely survived a moon snail attack:
    moonsnailattempt

    And if you find a shell that’s been drizzled with garlic butter and then dumped in a midden, well… that’s a different story.
    shellpile2

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    Summer Fun

    July 13, 2013

    This week we gathered on the beach for a company potluck / going away party for our office manager Diana, who’s leaving us to return to Canadia. It was an evening of burgers, beers, oversized cards, fancy footwork, and swimming in jeans. We are REALLY going to miss Diana! The gifts: The group (or at […]

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    Who’s hiding in that cockle clam?

    June 18, 2013

    This is one oyster that will never be hinge shucked. If you ever get a Hama Hama that’s growing on a rock, or on another shell… or on a fake snake… you can be pretty sure it was hatched the old fashioned way. Here’s an oyster that tried to hide in a moon snail shell, […]

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    Oyster Shell Anatomy

    June 11, 2013

    … for all you shuckers out there. Point #1. Oysters have two shells. Shells are also called valves, hence the whole “bivalve” bit. One of the shells is typically flat, and one is typically curved or cupped. The flat shell is called the “top,” and the cupped shell is called the “bottom.” So here’s a […]

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    Open Farm 2013 Wrap Up

    May 31, 2013

    Thank you to everyone who turned out and made the last open farm day of 2013 a shucking good time! We really ‘got into the fat oysters’ on Saturday as an otherwise rainy Memorial Day weekend held back the tempest until the very end of the day for the folks who came out for a […]

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    (Almost) Everything you ever wanted to know about tumbled oysters.

    April 18, 2013

    Tumbling farming is such a new technique that oyster farmers haven’t even settled on what jargon to use… some farms call their tumble bags “tumble bags,” others call their tumble bags “tipping bags.” (And if that didn’t strike you as a totally biased turn of phrase, then we’ve already got you hook, line, and sinker!) […]

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    Professional Oyster Pickers Development Day

    April 11, 2013

    Last week Teri King from Washington Sea Grant came by to school us on sea creatures. We’re getting geared up for our oyster rama and open farms, and wanted to re-familiarize ourselves with all the creepy crawlies. Our beach walk with Teri turned into an intertidal show-and-tell featuring colorful eggs, goopifying sea cucumbers, translucent clams, […]

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    Video: How To Shuck An Oyster

    March 15, 2013

    This video is slightly mortifying… but only if you’re someone who takes herself too seriously. Also: Blue Pools are amazingly easy to shuck. Metropolitan Markets filmed this in January 2012 while we were promoting the Blue Pools in their stores. “Promoting” in this case meant “giving away to lucky oyster-loving shoppers.” We’ll be doing the […]

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    Seaweed Farming

    March 14, 2013

    … accidentally. We’ve had a few daylight low tides so far this year, and once the sunlight hits the flats the algae starts growing like crazy on our clam nets. Seaweed is algae. And, just in case you might need it, here’s an idiot’s guide to algae: there’s microalgae, which is the kind that oysters […]

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    Event Information

    February 28, 2013

    Hey guys! We have two types of events in the works: our “open farms’ are simple u-pick days where you can harvest your own oysters and clams. You’ll pay for what you pick/dig, and we’ll be there to teach you how to do it. The Oyster Rama is a real-deal OYSTER PARTY, featuring live music, […]

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    Evening Magazine at the Oyster Farm

    February 27, 2013

    Sea Plane dwarfs the oyster barge! This morning pilot Chuck and his trusty steed “Maggie” (the Kenmore Air / Evening Magazine sea plane) landed on the oyster farm… successfully dodging buoys, tumble bags, and our barge. It was quite exciting. Meeghan Black, the host of Evening Magazine, and her camera man / partner in crime […]

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    Octopus is huge even though we only found half of it.

    February 22, 2013

    Deep, deep down, the Canal is a creepy place. Check out these tentacles! This octopus carcass washed up in our tumble farm a week ago… it was only half intact and had been chewed on by crabs and other critters. Giant Pacific Octopi usually live about 60 feet deep, so we never see them on […]

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    2013 Oystery Events

    February 19, 2013

    Hi everyone! Big news: Our 2013 Oyster Rama is set for Saturday April 27th. We’ve created a Rama page, which you should see as an option up top. Check the page for photos of Ramas past and info about the upcoming event. Tickets will go on sale mid-March. Stay tuned! Here’s the rest of the […]

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    Winner, Winner, Oyster Dinner!

    February 9, 2013

    Huge congrats to Adrian from Olympia! While he didn’t actually win an oyster dinner, he did win a really beautiful oyster knife and can now enjoy his bivalves with class and style. Adrian, your new lucky number is 118… that was your assigned number that we drew out of the hat (aka selected via random […]

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