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Monday, June 08, 2015

Nova Scotia Week: Oyster Farming at Eel Lake

With its slight mix of salt and fresh water, the 5-mile long Eel Lake is ideally suited for oyster farming. The clean, cool water is home to the premium Ruisseau oyster, high on the chef’s wish list of oysters in Toronto. On our first day in Nova Scotia, after the smooth and easy ride on Nova Star Cruises and a stroll around the stunning seascape of Cape Forchu Lighthouse, we met up with Colton D’Eon. Colton’s dad, a lobster fisherman, Nolan, started Eel Lake Oyster Farm with his wife Kim. Now the business is thriving with over 4,000,000 oysters in various stages of growth. Colton and another employee, Jed, took us out on their boat to show us the many rows of oyster beds. Through use of hydraulics, they pulled up one cage to show us how much one oyster had grown just in the past month, no longer dormant in winter. The oyster you typically suck down in a restaurant is approximately 3 years in age or 3 ½ inches in length. When harvest starts in the fall, Colton notes that there are often 100,000 oysters being shipped from their small plant. When we get back to the docks, Colton shucks one of his oysters and we quickly understand what all the fuss is about. The meat is tender, rich and sweet. But it’s that Eel Lake water, with its slight brine that enhances the flavor. Tours are open to the public, so be sure to schedule one for an intriguing glimpse into the life of a Nova Scotian oysterman. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/08/15 at 04:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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