The four seasons of an oyster aquaculture farm
Founded by Scott Budden in 2015, Orchard Point Oyster Co. is an oyster aquaculture farm located in the estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Scott grew up on the nearby Chester River and had always wanted to make a living close to the water. We were roommates in Washington, D.C. when Scott first sketched out the plans for his farm, and his oysters have quickly ascended to the upper echelon of the mid-Atlantic culinary market.
I made a number of visits to the farm over the course of a year to document the work that goes into building an aquaculture farm. Scott designed and built a number of the mechanical systems that play an integral role in the farm’s operations. There are also the natural elements to contend with; scorching heat and bitter cold. And wind. Lots of wind. This tough work is something to appreciate the next time a dozen oysters hit your table.
The economic slowdown related to the Coronavirus outbreak hit Orchard Point pretty hard. Scott and his team responded by bootstrapping a direct to consumer sales and distribution system that has become a new and reliable revenue stream for the farm. You can learn more about their products and place an order by visiting www.orchardpointoysters.com.
I wrote an article about Orchard Point Oyster Co. for an online publication by the name of ReadSalt in August, 2016 that is no longer active. A version of that original article has since been republished on my blog.