Soundside Oyster Farms is located in Hampstead, North Carolina. The farm offers fresh oysters that are harvested from the Carolina Coast. It is dedicated to bringing fresh and delicious oysters to the market. The methods used in harvesting are eco-friendly . As the farm tries to reduce its carbon footprint. The farmers use sustainable methods as much as possible.
Soundside Oyster Farms operated for nearly two years in Masonboro Sound. Then, moved to the legendary waters of Stump Sound. Where they have continued to provide the greatest oysters. That the amazing waters of this area can produce. Additionally, they added two new harvest areas. They committed to improving the estuary and providing jobs through sustainable aquaculture.
Soundside Oyster Farm has locations in Stump, Topsail, and Middle Sounds. All are close to inlets, which flush the estuary regularly with clean ocean water twice a day. The ripping current and the abundance of algae. And phytoplankton makes for an ideal area to cultivate oysters.
Soundside Oyster Farms originated with a vision. Of strengthening the coastal communities living along the Carolina coast. Estuaries in the area were another main focus. The farm has an aim to improve the oysters of the region, and in turn, improve the community. Soundside Oyster Farms dedicated itself to growing the most delicious bivalves of the Outer Banks. This is because seafood is a main delicacy in the area and most of the community enjoy it.
Oysters are beneficial to the local community. The farms provide a home for many sea creatures and even some human beings. Oysters ensure there is much-needed habitat for marine life. They help many organisms that are both ecologically and commercially crucial. Oyster farms help in providing jobs for locals in sustaining and farming the oysters. This helps to build the community.
Oysters allow the community to have a steady food source. They are also a source of versatile building material. They aren't just a home for crabs and fish.
Oyster shells have been utilized in a number of different industries for centuries. These include masonry, construction, and building roads. Evidence of this is seen in some of the oldest buildings in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. The buildings have oyster-shell mortar. These shimmer from where they were placed in foundations and walls.
These work by suspending French vinyl mesh baskets in the water. The baskets are placed high in the water column. This is usually where the water is rich in phytoplankton that the oysters can feed on. This location is also great because predators of the phytoplankton are found in the water.
The cages are constructed in Illinois using Riverdale steel. The steel is cut in Canada where it is shipped for quality control. It is then assembled by local farmers in South Carolina. From there, Soundside Farms picks up the steel cages and puts them to work.
The farm buys small individual baby oyster seeds. This is known as a “spat”. They are usually bought when they measure up to a quarter of an inch long. Spat used at the farm is bought from local shellfish nurseries. The farmers pick up the spat themselves and take it into their water. It is then placed into fine mesh-sized bags, then carefully placed in the floating cages.
The oysters grow over time and become larger. The farmers grade and separate the oysters as they continue to grow. They are placed in bags with larger mesh sizes. This goes on until the oysters are ready to go to market.
Soundside Oyster Farms are home to some of the best oysters in the region. These are known as Soundside Salts. The farms use a lot of advanced equipment to grow and harvest the oysters. One key gear that they use in oyster farming is the floating cages.
A single great oyster can be described as having buttery, briny, and umami flavors. These kinds of oysters are found in the middle of Stump and Topsail Sounds in North Carolina. These are the best oyster growing areas in North Carolina that are delicious all through the year.
The oysters have a particularly great taste between the middle of winter to the middle of spring. This is when the oysters gain a shade of blue-green. This new shade is because of a micro-algae that is specific to the waters of North Carolina. The micro-algae is known as Haslea ostrearia and exists only in pristine waters. It turns the oyster's gills to a teal color.
The Soundside Salt is a meaty oyster that is deeply cupped. They can be served raw. You also have the option of grilling or frying them.
During farming, the oysters are air-dried once every week. They are placed out for 15 to 18 hours a day. This allows the oysters to grow stronger abductor muscles and hardens the shell. A harder shell allows for easier shucking while enjoying the oysters. Drying also makes the oysters have better meat and a longer shelf life.
Soundside Oyster Farms is committed to providing its community with the most delicious oysters. They make use of cutting-edge technology in farming the oysters. With the main focus on great-tasting seafood. Soundside puts together a team of professional farmers. They take time to sun exposure the oysters to improve their taste.
Soundside Oyster Farms is a seafood farm focused on providing the best oysters on the market. They farm the oysters in high water, which greatly improves the taste. The farm uses the best equipment in farming. Oysters are placed in bags and then in mesh baskets that vary in size. During the process, the oysters are air-dried to improve their taste and eating experience. Drying helps to harden the shells, making shucking an easier and better experience.