Hollywoods are grown on a creek on the mile-wide Patuxent River in the Chesapeake Bay in St. Mary’s County. Our oysters are grown in cages in the water column and are tumbled regularly to develop a deep cup and hard shell. Oysters are grown from 1mm seed in our on farm nursery to 3” market size. Each oyster is sorted by size and tumbled at least six times during the 20 month grow out period assuring a consistent size and deep cup.
Patuxent River -- Hollywood, Maryland
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Size and Availability
3.5 inches | Year-round
Mild mineral brine, with a round and brothy finish.
Flavor Influenced By
- Salinity: 1.5% < 3.5% full oceanic salinity
- Tides: 2-3 ft. tides -- river is 1 mile wide at the mouth, opening up to the Chesapeake Bay
- Bottom Makeup: Shallow, sandy bottom
Hatchery seed is reared in a nursery setting, and then moved into cages that rest on the bottom. Tumbled often to deepen the cup and harden the shells. Time to market: 18-24 months.
I started farming oysters as a weekend hobby on my family’s farm in Hollywood, Maryland. In 2010 when MD regulations for oyster aquaculture were modernized I started permitting and larger scale oyster farming. In 2013 I had over 1 million market ready oysters to sell and I had an ‘aha’ moment - I left my city job and moved to the farm to grow oysters on a full time basis and I haven't looked back!
Hollywoods are grown in the middle of thousands of acres of preserved farmland in a creek that has fossilized oyster reefs lining its shores and a sand/clay bottom – which imbues the nationally famous Hollywood merroir.
As oyster farmers, we have the privilege of working on the water and contributing to our coastal community. We are constantly amazed by the biodiversity that acres of oyster cages in a ‘moving reef’ attracts. We get pleasure knowing that we are contributing to the restoration of our watershed by observing the increased animal and plant life around our operations.
- Tal Petty