The Port Madison farm uses a Community Supported Aquaculture (CSA) model that allows participants to buy a membership to the farm and receive deliveries of shellfish throughout the season. All proceeds from shellfish sales support local water quality improvement projects and community engagement programs. As a member you are also invited to volunteer with harvesting. This means you will get to visit the farm, help us collect and bag shellfish and partake in the fun of eating locally! Becoming a member of the community shellfish farm means more than receiving shellfish; it means having the opportunity to connect with a local food source and contribute to critical pollution control efforts in your community.
Our shellfish farm reaps great results
Operating since 2010, the Port Madison Community Shellfish Farm (PMCSF), is located on the pristine Bloedel Reserve tidelands on Bainbridge Island. As a small, volunteer-supported farm, PMCSF seeks to directly connect locals to the benefits of a healthy watershed through its CSA (Community Supported Aquaculture) program. We achieve this as community members grow, tend, harvest and eat oysters right from our own beaches.
Re-forging connections between local communities and healthy resources
PMCSF membership has increased as more Bainbridge Island residents build a connection to their marine resources and renewing their commitment to clean water and healthy shorelines. Past harvests have resulted in more than 1,400 dozen oysters for 80 loyal Community Supported Aquaculture (CSA) members and other local events. Summer oyster mortality in 2019 impacted many oyster growers in Puget Sound including PSRF. Unfortunately, we will not have the typical CSA harvest season in 2020 and we will be postponing the CSA program until the spring of 2021. As a testament to the farm, our CSA program sells out rapidly each season. PSRF is hopeful for a bountiful harvest next spring!
Farming, harvesting and eating oysters is part of the solution to restoring Puget Sound
Oysters are a tasty, festive way to eat healthy as they are loaded with zinc, calcium, iron, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Growing these shellfish has environmental benefits, including improved water quality and increased species diversity. Vigorously feeding on microalgae, a single oyster can filter 20 gallons of seawater a day. Oysters provide habitat structure and refuge for juvenile fish, crabs and other invertebrates. We believe this positive connection between you, your environment and your dinner plate is the key to active and enjoyable shoreline stewardship.
What does it mean to become a CSA member?
Unfortunately, we will not have the typical CSA harvest season in 2020 and we will be postponing the CSA program until the spring of 2021.
Thank you to all who have supported the farm by purchasing memberships, volunteering during farm seeding and harvests, and slurping the delicious oysters that are the result of our efforts to protect and maintain great water quality and healthy beaches surrounding Port Madison and Bainbridge Island. All farm proceeds go back into local water quality and habitat improvement projects!
If you have any questions or want to learn about the 2021 CSA Program, please contact [email protected](link sends e-mail) for more information.
For the 2019 CSA group, we haven’t forgotten that you still need one more delivery of delicious oysters for slurping, grilling and frying. Our goal is to host one harvest later this summer to fulfill your 2019 membership. Please stay tuned for dates and details to come.
Additional harvest information for 2021 including pick up dates and times are to be determined.
Drayton Harbor Community Oyster Farm
In 2014, PSRF’s first community oyster farm officially left the nest. The Drayton Harbor farm transitioned to a for-profit business called Drayton Harbor Oyster Company LLC.
Enticing a commercial venture back to Drayton Harbor was part of the original vision dating back to 1999 when Geoff Menzies and PSRF first conceived of launching a community oyster farm to spur water quality improvements and invest in the health of the bay. Our goal – then and now – was to restore commercial, recreational and tribal harvest. Lo these many years later, a commercial venture has taken the plunge and we are cheering them on. The new farm is owned and operated by Steve and Mark Seymour, a family with a 25-year history of oyster farming in Drayton Harbor.
Moving forward, PSRF will continue to partner with the new farm on all manner of Drayton Harbor projects, including Olympia oyster restoration. CSA members cultivated over many a year will be lovingly tended as the farm expands local and overseas sales.
The farm will continue to draw attention to the need for clean water and press forward with pollution control efforts in order to preserve the long oyster farming history of the bay. There are still a significant number of shellfish acres needing recovery, which will require concerted and sustained action in the years ahead. We are hopeful that the taste of “Drayton Golds” will help propel these efforts forward.
Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm
Puget Sound Restoration Fund has been invested in the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm since 2002, along with our partners, Washington State University, Elliott’s Oyster House and Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association. Henderson Inlet, a charming estuary in southern Puget Sound, not far from Olympia had been closed to shellfish harvesting for years due to water quality issues. At the outset of our collaboration, PSRF wanted to join hands with others in the watershed to restore clean water in a historic shellfish growing area – and good things have happened as a result of this undertaking. In the face of increased development, and contrary to predicted trends, water quality has improved.
On January 27, 2010, the Washington Department of Health upgraded 240 acres of the Henderson Inlet commercial growing area to Approved. The Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm is now located on approved ground. This represents a huge community triumph. Hats off to residents, businesses and local governments within the Henderson Inlet watershed for tackling pollution sources and improving water quality for all.
On June 13, the Washington Department of Health upgraded 100 acres of shellfish harvesting area in Henderson Inlet, based on improved marine water quality. A lot of great work by their Thurston County partners and area residents made this possible. For more information about this upgrade and to view their news release follow this link:
Shellfish Sales Proceeds Put into Action
The funds generated from shellfish sales go towards local water quality improvement projects and community outreach efforts. Here are some examples of our ongoing efforts:
Conduct farm tours each year to educate students, parents, and teachers in shellfish aquaculture and water quality.
Harvest over hundreds of dozens of oysters for public events, including Oyster New Year at Elliott’s Oyster House.
Install shellfish gardens on private tidelands to invest local property owners in the value of clean water.
Involve volunteers in thinning and harvesting oysters, preparing shellfish garden kits, organizing aquaculture gear and serving community-grown shellfish at local events.
Sponsor annual oyster giveaways for local residents who take action to manage their septic systems (residents receive one dozen oysters with proof of inspection).
Increase education and awareness about the effects of pet waste on water quality.
Provide a free mobile pump-out service to boaters in Port Madison Bay and help boaters understand how bacterial pollution from sewage can affect water quality and marine resources.