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Oyster Gardening Program
April 14 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm$450
Grow your own oysters in the Damariscotta River estuary
For the oyster lover who doesn’t mind getting a little muddy, cold, and damp, we are now accepting applications for our two-year Oyster Gardening program. Participants grow oysters for personal use, with instruction and support from professional aquaculturists and industry experts.
Offered every other year, the 2022 class begins on April 14 with a series of Thursday evening classes on oyster biology, the estuarine environment, water quality, biosecurity, oyster husbandry, and related topics. Participants will build oyster bags and prepare their gear, then, with 500 seed oysters each, will begin the process of growing the young oysters in a shallow water area of Great Salt Bay. Growers will need to tend their oysters at least once every other week through the summer and fall.
In early winter, the oysters are moved to the Damariscotta River estuary, at a deep-water site near Dodge Point. In the spring of 2023, students will move them back to Great Salt Bay, pull on their hip-waders, and tend their crop over the second summer.
While eating the harvest is the ultimate reward, learning a lot about oysters and the estuarine ecosystem, and enjoying the company of fellow oyster lovers, will add to the experience along the way.
The fee for the Oyster Gardening program is $450. This includes all instruction, course materials for the first two years, gear, oyster seed, and access to the oyster growing lease sites.
How to apply
Our apologies, this program is full. To be added to an email contact list for the 2024 program, please email Sarah Gladu.