Mindfully grown is about incorporating balance. The balance between providing for the benefits of the oysters and respecting the surrounding environment as the weather, salinity and seasons require. Our desire is to grow the highest quality farm raised oyster as efficiently as possible by applying technology to help us better understand and manage our farm. We track the oyster growth by weight and using RFID tagging to manage inventory and optimize workflow. This delivers greater efficiencies which in turn deliver a safe, high quality, cost effective, year round food source. We also want to have a positive impact on the environment and create a sustainable opportunity for common benefit.
We grow Apalachee Bay Oysters on the Forgotten Coast from historic Florida brood stock. We have access to more than six acres of prime bay waters in Wakulla county which allows us to spread out and grow at very low densities. Our oyster seed is purchased in small batches (or cohorts) three to four times annually to ensure year-round availibility notwithstanding the challenges of Mother Nature. We grow the cohorts together so we can provide the individual attention necessary to produce a quality oyster. The cohorts range in size between 50,000 and 300,000 oysters that are touched regularly to check on health and growth. We purchase our baby oysters exclusively from Florida nurseries when they are the size of a pencil eraser and stock them in floating mesh bags. As the oysters grow they are sorted and separated into bags with larger openings to allow more food to flow through and keep predators out. Every three to six weeks they get sorted, tumbled and placed in fresh gear to ensure the highest quality food and oxygen supply for our oysters. Oysters grow quickly and we never allow our bags to get more than half full to prevent overcrouding. At the final grow-out, there are between 150 and 200 oysters, nestled in a bag with 18 mm openings that enjoy several weeks of plentiful food and spacious accommodations so that we can provide plump oysters that taste of the sea, year round.