December is going to be a busy month. Beyond another holiday week of pick-ups -- including a special Virginia Beach visit hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation -- we're finally transitioning the farm from growing season to prep season.
We are closing down the nursery now and hope to have the upweller cut off within the week. Water temperatures have let us run it much longer than normal, but it's finally time to call it. We'll keep some of our small seed on the tidal flupsy over the winter, but it won't be much. We'll soon kick off preparing for the next grow season by building new cages that we've designed to make things a little easier when working the farm.
Sadly, one of our employees, Joshua, left us this past week. Joshua's school will be starting in-person classes soon and his program is on the other side of the state. Thankfully, Eric is going to take on some extra hours for now to fill the gap.
Just in time for the holidays, we're launching an oyster starter kit and shucking gloves! Pair our Rappahannock River oysters or a Rogue Oysters Gift Card with a shucking knife and pair of cut-resistant shucking gloves to get that special someone started with fresh oysters at home.
Shipping oysters for Christmas
The shipping carriers are beyond capacity again and we do not have full faith that oysters will deliver on time the week of Christmas. While we are not shipping the week of the 25th, we are recommending getting oysters a week before Christmas if you plan to cook them. The order deadline is Dec. 14 to be shipped Dec. 16.
We're not recommending shipping oysters to be eaten raw for Christmas as we'd normally recommend shipping the week before as a workaround, but this year that would put you at the end of the window to eat oysters raw before the flavor and/or texture change. While we'd love to ship you oysters to eat raw for Christmas and they may be perfectly fine, we do not want anyone disappointed for the holiday.
Shipping oysters for New Years
We're hoping that UPS gets a slight reprieve the week after Christmas and are moving our shipping for the week of New Years to Mon, Dec. 28. If you want oysters shipped for New Years, be sure to place your orders by Dec. 25.
UPS is no longer guaranteeing delivery timelines so cannot guarantee deliveries by a certain date, but we will include extra gel packs to keep your oysters safe in case they get delayed a day and recommend you select Next Day Shipping.
Restoration project update
Back in June, we set out two small test sites in Meachim's Creek in Topping. We had a chance to check on the condition of those sites and things look good! The flow of the creek and tidal movement has spread the shell out a bit as expected. While some of the shell sank into mud and sand, the majority remained above and fairly clean -- meaning it isn't getting buried under shifting sand or sediment and may provide a good home to wild oysters.
Speaking of, there are live oysters! Those oysters may be some that we placed or they might be new oysters; it's hard to say, but either way, it's a good sign! And as a bonus, a pair of ducks were over one of the sites eating off the bottom. So six months into the project and we already have ecological benefits!
Friends of the Rappahannock Fundraiser: Oyster ShellabrationJoin us and Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) for a virtual tasting experience and fundraiser with all proceeds going to FOR. Order your oyster tasting package directly from FOR to pick-up on Dec. 12 in Warrenton, Sperryville, or Fredericksburg. For details, visit FOR's Shellabration page here.
Most importantly, we wish you the happiest of holidays!
Many, many thanks again for your support,
Taryn & Aaron
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