Cage-farmed oysters (Modern Farmer, March 2019)

During times when traditional farmers can be found working their soil, Brandi Shelley and her father and brothers are out on the water on Bayou Hertesa near Port Sulpher, Louisiana, tending to dripping wet cages full of growing oysters.

“The summer is the busiest season for us,” says Brandi of the new business her father started in 2017, after many years of traditional oyster farming. “In the summer here, the algae grows so fast you gotta clean the cages a few times a week to keep the water and the nutrients flowing through.”

Brandi is happy to report though, that Kelly Farms stays relatively busy all of the time, because the cage technology allows them to harvest oysters all year round.

Fans of Gulf seafood are familiar with the warning: Eat raw oysters ONLY in months that contain an R! “That’s because, during the summer, wild oysters spawn,” Brandi explains, “and when they spawn, they shrivel up and get milky.” Cage-farmed oysters, on the other hand, begin as triploid seeds. “Triploid oysters are genetically designed to not breed,” says Brandi, “and so they retain a nice size, shape and texture all year around.” TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “MODERN FARMER” CLICK HERE…

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