Raising Oysters

oyster gardening on Chesapeake Bay

Cleaning Oyster GardenWe are raising Oysters here at our Virginia Bed and Breakfast as part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundations Oyster gardening program. Chesapeake Bay Foundation provides local seminars as well as all equipment needed, (for a small fee). We start off with baby oysters called “Spat”. You can fit 1,000 of them in the palm of your hand! We raise them in mesh bags with floats, and have to occasionally clean the bags to insure that they are getting proper water circulation. As they grow, we eventually divide them into more bags with a larger mesh, (again for proper water flow).We raise them for about a year, and then return them to Chesapeake Bay Foundation where they then use them to help restore different Oyster Reefs throughout the Chesapeake Bay. We then pick up 1,000 more spat, and start the process all over again. We are currently on our 3rd round of oysters raised for CBF, and were happy to find out the first two rounds were used right around the corner from us to restore a reef in the East River.

roasted oysterAs happy as we are to be raising oysters for Chesapeake Bay Foundation, we also raise plenty for EATING and sharing with our guests. Grilled oysters are one of our absolute favorites, and we include our home grown oysters in our Seafood Feast and Oyster Roast events. So come visit our Eco friendly Virginia B&B and we will be happy to show you our little oyster farm!