Kevin Twomey spends his weekends riding his bicycle and hiking in some of the most beautiful places in Northern California. Since my weekends are often very different (think being a mom, 3 kids and sporting events) I am always in awe of the photographs he shares at the end of a weekend of the latest remote place he discovered. On a recent weekend trip to Point Reyes, he visited a place that compelled him to write a blog post.
Here is what he had to say.
“When the choice between paper or plastic at the grocery store was first offered to me (which today will cost you 10 cents per bag in San Francisco), I stood there in front of the cashier with a confused look while taking too much time weighing the positive and negatives of both.
This week, my indecision involves the agonizing question regarding extending the lease of Drakes Oyster Company’s operation in Point Reyes. I am glad I am not the “Decider”.
I visited the Oyster Farm on March 2nd to experience what might be my last tasting of DOC’s delicious raw oysters before they close in a couple of months due to a 40 year lease that expired last year.
I had a nice talk with the son of the owner of Drake’s Oyster Co., Sean Lunny, as he worked on the line that sorts the oysters. He hopes that the federal government will at least allow them to finish harvesting what is still in the waters. The Oyster Farm plants and harvests 8 million oysters a year (producing about 460,000 pounds of shucked oysters). They still have about 2 years of unharvested oysters in 1,000 acres of submerged land. Their operation accounts for about 40% of the commercial oyster production in the state. These numbers are quite impressive for a small company that strives to produce a product through sustainable agricultural practices with ecological responsibility.
After my conversation I walked around the farm and took a few snapshots of their farm & production.
As one who appreciates our natural wonders, I applaud the Park Service’s efforts to keep supporting our marine life. But I cannot help but feel there is some way a company that provides sustainable, local-grown organic food can co-exist. Because closing this company will affect the consumer market for oysters I wonder who will step up to replace what they provided and at what cost? A company on some other less-defended shoreline waters 6000 miles away? One that isn’t practicing sustainable agricultural practices?
Feeling compelled to help save Drakes Oyster Company? Link to here to sign their petition.