We are a small oyster farm in the beautiful Peconic Bay, NY. Help create a spirit moving oyster experience- Eat an oyster. Feed a bay!
[See Update for new Stretch Goals!]
Ok, we've won the lottery. (Sort of)
Thanks to an amazing new program we are fortunate to be among a very small group of folks granted coveted rights to foster and grow shellfish in the amazing Peconic Bay. Patience, luck and a great deal of paperwork got us this far.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
We are proud to announce that we have all regulatory permits in place. We waded (hah!) through a whole lot of acronyms to get here: DEP, ACE, USCG and more!
Our custom farm gear has been designed and built for us and is now ready to deploy this spring for our first planting. This is cutting edge aquaculture gear which has been built to best take advantage of our specific farm site and is designed to outlast and outperform typical equipment.
We have had amazing reception and encouragement from individuals as well as restaurants and chefs who are eagerly anticipating our first harvests.
AND THAT'S WHERE YOU COME IN!
WHAT WE NEED
Our first order of business will be to get the ranch fully "planted" this spring, followed by a second planting in the late fall. To accomplish this we will need:
Seed stock: Called "spat". These are very small, baby oysters. In fact they look exactly like a mature oyster when viewed under a microscope.
Grow Out Gear: We have sufficient gear to lay out our initial plantings and are working on completing the build out of gear to complete year 1. In addition we hope to build our floating nursery to facilitate growing out from the smallest size seed available.
Boat: We love to swim, but we need to float! We will be looking to acquire or contract a workboat to serve the ranch. Our business plan allows for the subcontracting of this work for year 1 if necessary, however we expect to acquire and engineer a vessel as soon as possible. We are working on designs which utilize recycled materials and which operate as cleanly and efficiently as possible.
Long Island Oysters hold a near mythical position in the history of American seafood. Once upon a time the abundant Peconic Bay provided oysters by the tons. Fresh, shucked, smoked, canned. Greenport, NY was an oystering center akin to the sardine canneries of Monterray Bay. That industrial approach to food is thankfully passed us now. The Bay, once cleared of its bounty, ceased to sustain that level of oystering. The canneries folded and disappeared. The ecosystem changed, the algae blooms arrival on east coast waters, and a changing way of life, left that water laying fallow like a forgotten field.
With the very recent farming approach to shellfish production, everything is different. Oyster seeds are planted and harvested without damaging impact. Oyster farming is, in fact, one of the more environmentally beneficial activities we can do for our ecosystem. The farm itself essentially creates artificial reefs which have been shown to attract long missing sea-life back to the bay. These small farms create rewarding jobs and by their very nature become protectors of our natural resources.
ECO SIDE EFFECTS!
It turns out that oysters (and other shellfish) are amazing water filters. They can process 50 gallons of water/day...each! Since some of our oysters will stay in the racks for a few years. By the time they are harvested, each oyster will have filtered almost 55,000 gallons of water. They also sequester carbon in their shells. In fact there is a possibility that the farm could earn carbon credits for removing significant caron from the atmosphere. Credits or no, it does happen, so we dig it.
Part of our philosophy is built around the idea of replenishing our cherished natural resources. A portion of every planting effort will include a wild seeding of oysters in the bay. In participation with existing organizations and institutions we will participate in the replenishing of the wild oyster population of the bay.
We are lucky to be situated in a food paradise. From the fresh farm produce of our "dirt farmer" neighbors, the vineyards and craft breweries to the amazing chefs who have carved out their niche here on the North Fork. For those of you within travelling distance, we encourage you to come for some food tourism. Be sure to let us know when you are coming!
Thanks for taking a look at our Kickstarter project. We are excited to share our ideas with you and look forward to hearing from you. Please hit us up with any questions. We have tried to put together some fun rewards at all levels ranging from participation in our feel-good wild seeding program, stickers, t-shirts all the way to a unique farm experience.
Thank you again for your consideration!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
Nothing is without risk of course, this project included. With that in mind we have assessed a few risks we face:
Natural Disaster: Hurricane Sandy for example. This delayed our fall planting plans. Potential losses include lost or damaged grow out gear, damage to boats and facilities. Mitigation: We are developing a portion of the field to be further fortified against this type of storm as much is possible. We are also involved with the industry pursuing crop insurance for shellfish.
Time to Market: We will be at the mercy of the first plantings time to market in terms of how soon we are able to fully able to run off our own "engine." This means that cash flow and careful management of resources will be crucial. Our Kickstarter effort, in combination with other fundraising and retail operations are the first steps in protecting against this delay.
The Founders Coin is something we had started even before the Kickstarter project. It is intended to recognize those who are willing to come on board as core supporters of our farm as well as our greater initiatives. There are perks involved that are currently defined as well as those that will continue to develop. It is the only reward level that will continue to change and evolve.
Some of the benefits currently attached include a farm visit (definitely some oyster eating happening there, with some to go if you'd like!), VIP tastings, first notice of harvests and lifetime discounts on oyster orders. We are creating a Coin Holders website allowing members to track farm activity, sign up for opportunities, as well as order oysters once we get to the harvest stage.
On the horizon- We are currently working with several breweries, wineries and restaurants to develop discounts and perks to be extended only to Coin Holders. We expect to pick up the tab at an oyster bar serving our oysters and other spontaneous offerings as well.
The truth is that this is not for everyone. It will be an ever evolving reward that is about creating our lasting core community.
Absolutely! If you are that excited, so are we. If you would like to receive multiple rewards simply pledge the appropriate total and when we get to the end of the project and send our Backer Surveys out make sure you indicate your choices. If you want to be extra sure, send us a note when you make your pledge and we will record your preferred awards in our log.
Of course if you have any questions at all, please send a message and we'll answer it straight away.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
One awesome "Be UnShellfish" sticker and our thanks for your support.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Throw a couple back! For every $10 pledge, we will plant 25 juvenile oysters wild in the bay. That's a potential to filter almost a HALF MILLION gallons of the bay per year! Be UnShelffsih! Buy multiples, give as gifts.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Shucker's Package We'll send you our favorite oyster shucker knife and shucking instructions. Aww, heck, we'll send you a sticker too!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
"Get UnShellfish" T-Shirt. Show your UnShellfish self with this stylish American Apparel T-Shirt printed on front with the Little Creek logo and a large "Get Unshellfish" on the back.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
Be Un-Shellfish: We will wild plant at least 300 oysters wild in the bay as part of a re-seed the bay initiative in cooperation with several research and community institutions. Clean water, happy food chain. We will send a sticker your way too!Estimated delivery:Add $3 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
Oyster shucking kit including hardwood oyster holder branded with the name of the farm complete with expert shucking instructions. And of course, a "Be UnShellfish" sticker.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
10 backers All gone!
Name that oyster. We will raise and bring to market a batch of 5,000 oysters with whatever name you choose (presuming it passes a legal sniff test...we believe Coca Cola and Nike to be taken for example.) You will be invited to the oyster's debut tasting.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
5 backers All gone!
Name that oyster. Seeded in the fall of 2013 for the 2014 growing season. We will raise and bring to market a batch of 5,000 oysters with whatever name you choose (presuming it passes a legal sniff test...we believe Coca Cola and Nike to be taken for example.) You will be invited to the oyster's debut tasting.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $175 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)
Name that oyster- Seeded in the spring of 2014 We will raise and bring to market a batch of 5,000 oysters with whatever name you choose (presuming it passes a legal sniff test...we believe Coca Cola and Nike to be taken for example.) You will be invited to the oyster's debut tasting. Note: estimated delivery depends upon growing conditions and the desired size.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)
Farm Tour. Come see how the farm works. Haul cages, sort oysters, sneak a couple into your pockets. Includes picnic lunch, souvenir T-shirt.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $350 or moreYou selected
Private rack at the farm. We will raise 250 oysters from seed marked for your private use. You will receive regular updates as they grow. Includes farm tour if you want to harvest some yourself. Doesn't get any fresher!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Founder's Coin. We will issue you a custom numbered bronze coin which will be registered to you. This will entitle you to a farm visit, access to VIP events, tastings, festivals, first opportunity at harvests,participation in our rewards program and more. Founders will have access to a special members-only dashboard of our website.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $675 or moreYou selected
3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)
Private Rack for Founder's Coin holders. We know that many of our Coin Holders are likely to want to take advantage of having a private rack of oysters grown just for them. To honor the early commitment of these supporters, we are opening 10 private rack spaces for Coin Holders at $175 per 250 oysters. All rack holders will be involved in every step of the growth- including seed selection and target size. Regular updates with photos and measurements will let you track the growth of your oysters in this unique program. For new members this is a $675 reward. For existing Coin Holders it is an added pledge of $175.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
Unique Oyster Farm Experience. We'll make it worth it: seaplane flight for two from Manhattan, personal tour of the farm, oyster tasting, brewery/winery pairing, dinner and private chef's tasting menu. Experience tailored to your desires: come work the farm, or enjoy hands-off luxury.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
Why not? How about Boat-naming rights? That's right. Citi has a field, but you could have a boat. Maybe your Aunt Edna meant the world to you. F/V Edna has a nice ring to it.Estimated delivery:
- (35 days)