Little Bay Oyster Co. is an oyster farm located on Little Bay in the Great Bay. This oyster farm is run by Will Carey and his wife Jocelyn. This is how the farm works - first they obtain the oysters at a size of 8 to 11 millimeters from a hatchery in Maine. The oysters are then put into 4 millimeter mesh bags that are hung like hammocks under "racks" that are submerged into the substrate at the farm so that the bags are 4 inches off of the bottom. (See the slide show below.)
The oysters filter the water in order to obtain food and grow. They are periodically moved into larger mesh bags when they gain the appropriate size. A marketable oyster has a shell height of 3 inches. This can take anywhere from two to three years. Little Bay Oyster Co. harvests year round at the low tides when they can walk through the site in about 2 to 3 feet of water.
Presently, they sell most of their oysters to Seaport Fish in Rye and Sanders Fish Market in Portsmouth, and On The Vine in Exeter. They also sell oysters at the Newmarket Farmer's Market.
Little Bay Oyster Co. recently received a grant from Natural Resource Conservation Service to restore a one acre section of the bay as an oyster reef. This work will be completed in the spring of 2010. For more information, contact Will.
The Newmarket Farmers'Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Stone Church parking lot through October 10th. The weekly vendors offer fresh and organic food choices.
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