Our Partner Farmers
Our Wellfleet Shellfish Come From
Wellfleet's Finest Oyster Co.
We are partnered with our friends at Wellfleet’s Finest Oyster Co to bring the highest quality oysters and littlenecks straight from their farm, to your party or event. Their farm is located in the heart of Wellfleet, MA on what is referred to by shellfisherman as Egg Island. This sand bar island stretches east to west through Wellfleet Harbor and is adjacent to the mouth of the Herring River.
The farmers, Zach Rennert and Blake Olson, work the farm year round, constantly tending to the shellfish to produce beautiful oysters and clams. The unique location of the farm requires the crew to access the farm via boat, but the extra effort pays off. The shellfish on Egg Island are in deep water, and as a result spend most of their life underwater, pumping all that beneficial nutrients from the nearby Herring River.
About Aquaculture in Wellfleet
Aquaculture has deep roots in Wellfleet, and the techniques and methods for growing shellfish have been passed down for generations. A farm, or shellfish bed, as it is often referred to, is an acreage of tidal seafloor on the bayside of Wellfleet. At low tide, the beds are exposed, allowing farmers to tend to their product and gear. At high tide the beds are covered, allowing the oysters and clams to pump sea water, feeding off the nutrients in the water, and continue to grow.
Each farm is unique in the way it grows oysters and clams based on tidal exposure and the physical makeup of the bottom of the seafloor. Zach and Blake use a common method in Wellfleet known as the “bag and rack method”. Oyster seed, small baby oysters about the size of a fingernail that are spawned in hatcheries around New England, are purchased in the springtime. This seed is then placed in hard plastic bags, which are strapped to rebar racks, or stands, which sit on the oyster beds. This method ensures the oysters stay in one place, and Zach and Blake can easily tend to the oysters as they grow. As the water warms throughout the spring and summer, the oysters grow rapidly, which requires constant attention, grading, and sorting, to keep the oysters happy and healthy. Once they grow to size, 2 ½ - 3 inches, they are ready for market. At which time the oysters are harvested and ready to bring to your event or party.
Clams are less fussy than oysters. Like oysters, they are planted from seed, however, the clams are placed directly on the ocean floor. A net is staked around the area to ensure the clams are not moved via wind and current. The clams dig themselves in and begin to grow, also pumping water and feeding off the nutrients in the water. Once the clams are of size, the net is removed and they are dug up and harvested.
Shellfish farming is hard and rewarding work. The team at Wellfleet’s Finest Oyster Co. lives by the tide and the elements, and it pays off. They consistently produce the highest quality oysters and littlenecks, which we are proud to bring fresh to your event!