Last month, a few members of the Glidden Point team ventured south to our sister oyster farm, Nonesuch Oysters, located in Scarborough, Maine. Nonesuch was gearing up to harvest 40,000 b-grade or "uglies" for the Nature Conservancy's Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration or SOAR project.
The project was created as a response to an oyster demand decline due to mass restaurant closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nature Conservancy partnered with the Pew Charitable Trust, NOAA, and the US Department of Agriculture to buy more than 5 million oysters from more than 100 farmers in an effort to restore 20 different oyster reefs in various locations around the nation, and to help farmers make up for lost markets.
Part of the Glidden Team spent two days with Nonesuch to cull through b-culls, or uglies. These uglies are oysters that don't fit the parameters of a market oyster, oyster that may be too misshapen, or too large for market, but would be perfect for reef restoration, and as misshapen the are, still have the ability to filter up to 50 gallons of water in a single day.
We set up a culling station at the shop, and had two teams-- one to go get bags of oysters, and another team to cull through to get the uglies.
After two very full days of culling, we loaded up the van and Josh headed to New Hampshire, where these oysters would be a part of the reef restoration project in Great Bay.
All photos are taken by Kelsey Gayle.