Millimeters to Markets

Oyster larvae are reared in hatcheries until they metamorphose or "set". At this point they are considered seed.

We purchase seed from hatcheries once they have reached about 2 millimeters in size.

Our nursery , Miss Betty, is a floating upweller system, or FLUPSY for short. A paddle wheel at one end generates water flow. Constant water flow allows the oyster to access more water to filter for food than if there wasn't forced flow.

Inside, we place the seed in large fiberglass bins, or "silos". These silos have screened bottom and a smaller screen opening at the top. As the paddle whee turns, it draws water towards it. This pulls water through the bottom of the screen of the bi

All of the silos containing oysters are sorted weekly. When a silo is ready to be sorted, it is loaded onto the hopper and secured. Next the seed is moved onto the sorter a little at a time. The sorter contains two levels, each with a different sc

Once oysters reach a length of ½ inch they are ready to be bagged and moved onto the flats for grow out. It may take a little over a month to reach this desired size.

Grow out takes place far down on the on the remote Cape Shore of the Delaware Bay. This same location was once used to “season” and fatten oysters from up bay as early as the 1880s. The average salinity in this location is about 27 parts per thousa

The strong tidal flushing two times a day helps maintain excellent water quality for our oysters. This also allows for an abundant food supply for the oysters, giving them plump meats year round. Cape May Salt Oysters develop a long shelf life due

The method used to produce our oysters was originally developed in France where it is used extensively. The oysters stay contained in grow out bags allowing water to flow over and around them while keeping them contained and secured. Rebar racks ho

Workers frequently wash off the oysters to maintain adequate water flow through the bags. Clean oysters are happy oysters.

Workers sort through oyster bags on the flats, separating market sized oysters from smaller ones and removing any dead oysters. Bags of market oysters are placed on designated racks as inventory to be harvested at a future time.

Oyster racks are arranged in rows allowing easy ATV access to all parts of the farm even when the tide is rapidly coming in. The ATV and trailer are used to transport large amounts of oyster bags to and from the truck, as well as to other areas of t

Back at the facility, smaller oysters are put through a tumbling machine. Tumbling breaks off the growing edge of the oysters, encouraging them to grow a deeper “cup”. This tumbler sorts the oysters into 3 different size categories as well as clean

Market sized oysters are transported from our farm location by refrigerated truck, washed , and placed directly into cold storage.

Our oysters are handpicked and boxed at our HACCP approved facility in Cape May, NJ.

Workers count 100 oysters into each box, removing any misshapen oysters. Workers also remove any naturally occurring young that settled and adhered to market sized oysters. These young settlers are called spat.