(Below) Sweet Neck Farm Oysters after being cleaned of their barnacle growth. The oysters are put in a cylindrical cage and then turned to chip away the small amount of the newest growth to the shell. Somewhat like pruning trees, this process helps promote healthy shell growth, and stylize a ideal cup shape. These oyster shells are then put back in their cages, and dropped back into the ocean to continue to grow long after the process.
Justin Walker, photographer, and contributor to my blog, is a beautiful fine art photographer, but he's not slouch in the commercial arena either, having just completed the wildly successful seamless.com food campaign.
Here, he writes about his recent trip to Maine.
They call Jack Blake "The Godfather" in Martha's Vineyard. Fifteen years ago he brought some of the first oysters to Katama Bay, and has since perfected and helped revolutionize one of the newest industries on the sea: farming. Though an oyster needs an estuary to reproduce naturally, they can be grown from seeds on small farms off-shore. "People call all the time trying to sell me farm equipment, and such," says Jack, "...its not what most people are used to calling a farm."
Jack Blake's Sweet Neck Farm produces such a high quality of product that it rarely leaves the island of Martha's Vineyard, with the exception of some of the finest oyster bars up the East Coast. Neptune Oyster in Boston, MA is one of those establishments where Chef Michael Serpa serves up Katama Bay's best. Neptune Oyster works closely with many seafood producers and sources Striped Bass , Monk Fish and Littleneck clams, almost entirely on a local level.