Six Member Farms, Fantastic Tasting Oysters
The farms are situated in different bodies of water and therefore produce oysters that vary slightly in both in appearance and taste, such as their level of saltiness, sweetness and tang. Many of the co-op’s oysters bear a prominent black stripe on the outer shell, predominant in hatchery-raised oysters in the Northeast. The co-op offers the following oysters: Cedar Island Oysters, East Beach Blonde Oysters, Matunuck Oysters, Moonstone Oysters, Ninigret Cups, Potter Moon Oysters, Rome Point Oysters, and Wild Goose Oysters.
Outstanding Oysters and Our Dedicated Farmers That Grow Them
With oysters grown and harvested from Prince Edward Island to the Gulf of Mexico and all along the West Coast, some restaurants may list as many as 10 - 15 different varieties on their menu. As consumers learn more about different oysters, as well as about the individual farms that produce them, they gain a deeper appreciation for the dedication and hard work that goes into growing great-tasting oysters. This isn’t all that different from how connoisseurs of fine wines learn about independent wineries and how grapes being grown in one geographical area yield a different wine as compared to grapes grown in vastly different environments. In this regard, the Cooperative aims to spread the word about our outstanding oysters and our dedicated farmers who work hard to raise them. To the folks that love our oysters, we thank you and welcome your continued support. To those who appreciate the taste of really great shellfish but haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing some of the delicious oysters that we offer, we invite you to try them. With such variety in the marketplace, our member farmers work with an intense passion to ensure that our oysters are some of the best available. We consistently provide the highest quality Northeast oysters year-round. All of our oyster farmers not only possess unlimited talents for growing a unique, excellent grade of oyster, but they also share a commitment to preserving our natural coastal environments, without which, none of this would be possible. (Click on the links at the left or in the map at the right for a closer look at each of our member farms.)
Dedicated to Promoting Sustainable Aquaculture and Preserving Rhode Island’s Coastal Habitats
The aquaculture movement has become more popular in recent years. Regarding aquaculture, many people think of fish farms, but aquaculture also includes the farming of shellfish. Through education, OSSC promotes the value of oysters and oyster farming and the significant roles they play not only as vibrant parts of our coastal ecosystems, but also in their ability to ensure a healthier coast.
Every co-op member participates in reef restoration projects that are supported by USDA grants. At laboratories, oyster larvae are introduced into tanks containing shells from hard shell clams. The larvae, or spat, attach themselves to the shells. At this early stage, they can only be seen under a microscope. Each farmer takes these shells back to their respective nurseries and raises these oysters for about six months, until they reach an inch in size. Our farmers then transport and deposit these spat-on-shell oysters at a reef restoration site within a growing sanctuary, as designated by the Department of Environmental Management. Most of these reef restoration sites reside in the same body of water that support each of our members’ farms. The co-op values Rhode Island’s coastline and the infinite benefits that these rich ecosystems provide, and our members put these values into action as they strive to preserve and ensure the health of RI's greatest natural resource.