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Watch: What It Takes to Farm 10,000 Oysters a Week in Freezing Temperatures

This Scarborough, Maine, farm doesn’t stop harvesting just because it’s winter

Oyster farming does not stop after summer ends, so farmers across the Northeast are going out in winter temperatures and icy waters to farm for the prized bivalve. In Scarborough, Maine, the team at Nonesuch Oysters picks up 10,000 oysters each week — reportedly between half a million and 1 million every year — and is inevitably working for hours on a boat on all the sunny-yet-freezing days in Maine.

I’m joining the team for a shift on the Scarborough River in this episode of How to Make It, which includes founding farmer and Nonesuch owner Abigail Carroll who, as a big believer in letting the oysters flourish in their environments, is happy to show me the ropes. The experience really showed me how sensitive oysters are to their environments; how the same species can produce two totally different oysters (Nonesuch’s namesake oyster and its Abigail Pearl oyster) just by virtue of how and where it spends its second year growing; and what Carroll means when she says Nonesuch’s version of a Belon oyster tastes of metal.

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