Wednesday, April 3, 2013

drakes bay oyster company..........

On March 5th I decided that I HAD to go pay the farm a visit and show my support for american aquaculture...  especially one with such a long history in american / californian oyster production, giving us chefs a variety of oysters sustainably grown and harvested in different waters, estuaries, bays and inlets on both coasts, east and left….  having self-distributed these oysters themselves I have been very fortunate to have (ocean beauty) out of san francisco get these bivalves up to me when in the northern states several times a year for several years now…. most of these oysters stay right in the bay area, and while some of the general public slurps down hog island oysters, they may want to ask themselves- did the drakes bay oyster company outfit hog island with the stock being sold as hog island-  cause many a time, drakes has supplied hog island and tomales with bivalves…..  not that this matters, but drakes bay oyster company does supply the great state of california with over 40% of its consumable raw (and tub) oysters…. welcome to drakes bay oyster company (aka- the oyster farm), for it IS a farm…… from the village of point reyes station (home of the famous point reyes blue cheese), we headed south on main street (shoreline hwy one) and as we left town we went over a small green bridge- immediately turning right we were on sir francis drake blvd… we headed the remaining nine and a half miles to the little sign on the right hand side of the road that reads- DRAKES BAY OYSTER FARM….
following the oyster shell driveway we hit the farm…  this place is bad ass, there were atleast 15 people working the bay in front of us in various ways- some dredging, some cracking, some sorting, some headed back out into the bay with young oysters to drop…. in the first five minutes I saw atleast 3 of those employees crack open an oyster and slurp it down-  ahhhhhh  seeing the people eating the products straight from a harvest, that planted them in the first place is an inviting sight….  I sought out for my breakfast-  a pile of extra small drakes bay oysters overlooking drakes estero….  with all these niceties behind me, let me tell you why I am writing about this oyster farm… this farm is in peril of being shut down by secretary of the interior ken salazar…. the west marin pulitzer prize winning point reyes light volume LXVI no. 2 reported on Feb. 28th, 2o13 the drakes bay oyster company would be able to stay open- an appellate court ordered the obama administration to allow oyster farming to continue in drakes estero, this just days before the oyster farm could have been forced to close their doors, pay out 30 employees and destroy over 4 million oysters and numerous clams that have been growing over the past few years…. just shut the fucken doors and pretend like this little place of quality oyster production hasn’t existed for the past half a century, mind the 40% of cali’s oyster production…..  the pride of former monsanto employees that he now calls his administration are more than likely in both of his big ass ears on this one…..  when will this guy learn to leave food policy alone….  drakes bay oyster company provides great service to the community, as an innovative sustainable farm, an educational resource, and a part of the economic fiber of marin county… here is the following open letter to our secretary of the interior…..

Ken Salazar, Secretary of the US Department of the Interior
Dear Secretary Salazar,
Drakes Bay Oyster Farm, a beautiful and productive resource on the Point Reyes Peninsula, is in imminent danger of being a thing of the past. For generations this family farm, completely surrounded by the other family ranches and farms in the working landscape of the Point Reyes National Seashore, has been a popular visitor destination. The oyster farm’s 40-year renewable lease expires on November 30th.
Secretary Salazar, the continuation of this historic oyster farm is critical. Significantly, the National Academy of Sciences found that the oyster farm is NOT degrading the natural resources of Drakes Estero. Future generations depend on your decision to preserve jobs, history, culture, food, education and the environment. Please issue a renewable 10 year permit for the farm’s on-shore buildings as authorized by Congress, support the necessary upgrades to the onshore facilities, and allow the California Department of Fish and Game to continue to lease and regulate the shellfish production as they have since 1934.

Chef Sebastian Carosi
an avid drakes bay oyster shucker ‘n slurper…..
I know that this post may only reach a few people, but listen it only takes a few strong to help make things happen….  chefs, cooks, oyster aficionados, foodies, ag-business owners, californians, americans and all others support in any way possible, save your local food sources and supplies for following generations…. I shucked and slurped my briny breakfast bivalves down one by one….  I want this place to be around for my greedy memories and america and california’s gastronomic history and culture…
415.669.1149      open daily  8:30am-4:30pm
17171 sir frances drake boulevard  inverness, marin county california   94937