WHAT’S NEW IN JANUARY AT ROGUE OYSTERS
Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a great holiday season. We had a very busy but very good December on the farm doing one last big push in 2020. We’re very excited for 2021.
This month is going to look a little different in that we’re only doing two pop-ups. As much as we'd like to hit every location this month, pop-ups take A LOT of time, and we need some of that time this month to prepare for the next growing season which will be here in as few as 10 weeks.
We’ll be returning to other locations in February — just in time for Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day — and March. We hope to add February (and maybe even March) dates in the next week so check out our Where to Find Us page to see if we’re ready for you to place an order for future dates.
On the Farm
Our biggest project is building new cages. We doubled the number of baby oysters we grew last year and as they start getting bigger they'll need somewhere to go! Last week, Aaron and Eric started working on building the latest top-secret design for our new cages and will be experts by the time they build all 1000!
The hardest part of pop-ups is knowing how many oysters of each size we have available during the growing season, as the oysters grow at variable rates; frequently, you’ll grab a cage and it won’t contain what you expect. We love the Winter because oysters essentially hibernate giving us time to reorganize and create an inventory that’ll be accurate for a few months instead of weeks; this means hours a day spent hand-sorting on the boat while taking in the scenery and trying hard to ignore the cold.
January Pop-Up Pick-Ups
Alexandria: Jan. 16, 11a - 12:30p @ Mas Seafood
Fredericksburg: 3p - 4:30p @ FXBG Food Co-Op
If you’re craving oysters somewhere else or at another time, you can always visit us at the Farm or we’re happy to ship.
We received a copy of a study to be published in the March 2021 issue of Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology that finds that oyster aquaculture provides habitats that are equal or in some cases better than oyster reefs in terms of creating active, healthy aquatic ecosystems. In other words, if you keep eating farmed oysters, you’ll help us keep providing a place to live and eat for Rockfish, Blue Crabs, eels, and all the other sea creatures in the Rappahannock River. Read our blog post to learn more from a Humanities perspective or access the study if you love the scientific method and statistics.
- 14 fresh oysters (if small, buy 16-20)
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup shredded white cheddar
- 1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon (or bacon bits)
- 1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
One of the big reasons oyster shucking is so daunting is that many people are afraid of hurting themselves, so we’re fleshing out our shucking guide with tips for protecting your hands.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself while shucking is to use an oyster shucking knife — be it ours or someone else’s. The knife is designed for the shucking process so they just work, and you don’t have to worry about breaking that fancy paring knife you got for Christmas or impaling yourself with a screwdriver trying to make it work.
The next thing you can do is cover your hands while shucking. There are options from chain-mail gloves to tea towels that are intended to protect your hands in different ways. Chain-mail gloves can be quite pricey, but will do the best job. Cut-resistant gloves aren’t fool-proof, but they’re the best value and super convenient as you can order gloves (and shucking kits!) from us and pick them up with your oysters. These gloves give you a good grip and will save you from hurting yourself while shucking the right way and lessen the damage if you shuck the wrong way. Tea towels work on the fly and do best to protect you from the sharp edges of the oysters; with that said, they can work like a bulky glove if used with a shucking knife while doubling the towel over and remembering that it’s about finesse, not force.
Here’s our comprehensive shucking blog post and video if you need a refresher on safe shucking.
Many, many thanks again for your support,
Taryn & Aaron
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