Fish Fellowship Stage 8: Winter Point Oyster Farm

The last day of my fellowship with Browne Trading Company, I was invited to Winter Point Oyster Farm in West Bath, Maine (about an hour north of Portland).  Browne Trading Sales Associate, Matt Browne (who happens to be my appointed sales rep. at Rubiner’s) and I got lost driving around the back dirt roads of rural Maine before finally reaching our destination of Henneseey Road.  We drove right down to the dock to meet John Hennessey working away by himself sorting and cleaning Oysters from a recent Harvest.  John Hennesey and his cousin Ryan Curran have been farming and selling oysters on their family’s land since the mid nineties.  The family has owned the land for around 300 years with evidence of a deed directly from the king of England.  Dairy land for most of its life, the land gives way to clams, lobsters and crabs as well as their famed Oysters.  All year, John, Ryan and a few occasional helpers go out in boats around the cove where they rake, clean, sort and bag Oysters all by hand.  When asked what inspired and persuaded John to wake up at the crack of dawn each morning (even on the most frigid days of the harsh Maine winters)  John grinned and waved his hands in display of the land and said, “I ask myself the very same question but when I stop from the grueling routine and look up and around, I remember why I enjoy this.”

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