Growing beautiful, tasty oysters is a challenging art that rewards patience and curiosity. We’ve learned so much from the long and storied shellfish tradition embodied in our friends and neighbors—the richest of all resources.
Oysters: The Basics
A staple of coastal towns for hundreds of years, the oyster is a nutritional gem: high in protein, vitamins, and nutrients; and low in fat and cholesterol. Good for the body, and good for the waters! A single oyster can filter 50 gallons a day, clearing sediment and allowing sunlight to penetrate the waters for a healthier ecosystem.
Lees Wharf Oysters are grown from 1-inch seed in OysterGro cages, which help equalize feeding in each batch for consistent size, and in off-bottom cages. These two methods allow us to experiment with different grow-out systems. Planted in waters just 1 mile from “The Wharf,” our little guys require lots of attention—flipping and cleaning cages, separating oysters that have grown too attached, building and maintaining trawl lines and other equipment… the work is exhausting, multi-faceted, creative, and so much fun!
Our Home, Our Community, Our Waters
Because our office is in our backyard, we’re closely invested in the health of the water, the sustainability of our practices, and our community’s dependence on the continuing viability of these fisheries.With an eye toward maintaining the waters for generations to come, we’ve chosen to stick with small-scale, small-quantity farming, in which our oysters feed naturally to promote the health of the river.
Cindy Lees sits on the board of the Westport River Watershed Alliance and does water testing at Lees Wharf. This also helps Lees Wharf Oyster Farm keep a steady read on the salinity and overall health of our oysters’ growing environment. And we’re influenced by like-minded organizations, including the Massachusetts Aquaculture Association and The Island Institute.
Connecting people and place: that’s the pearl in our oysters. Oyster farming is our livelihood, but it also links us to the human stories that shape our community. When you eat Lees Wharf Oysters and share in our experiences, our hope is to connect you with the people and personalities of the Westport Point waterfront. See (and taste!) for yourself what makes it such a lovely place to live and work.