Public Invited to Tour Oyster Farm at Crowes Path

Oysters on the half shell.

Oysters on the half shell.

DENNIS – Dennis Conservation Trust is holding a walk for the public through Crowes Pature and out to the flats on Thursday.

The walk on September 4 at noon will include a lesson in oysters, aquaculture and a chance to sample the bivalves right out of the ocean.

Katherine Garofoli, administrator for the Dennis Conservation Trust, which helped to organize the tour, said, “I really hope to see everyone out. We’re hoping that this is going to be a nice day for everyone to learn more about the unique habitats here in Dennis and to get in touch with a local grower and make that kind of contact so you know where your food is coming from.”

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This is the second year of the tour. Last year about 20 people attended.

Garofoli will be leading the walk through Crowes Pasture that will start from the main parking lot through the woods out into the pasture past the salt marsh and out onto the beach at low tide. The group will then walk out to East Dennis Oyster’s grant in Cape Cod Bay.

At the grant, John and Stephanie Lowell, who have been farming their oyster grant since 2003, will be providing a demonstration.

According to the East Dennis Oyster Farm website, the Lowell oyster farm is located on the tidal flats off Quivett Neck in East Dennis.

As many as 200,000 oysters, aka Crassostrea virginica or Eastern Oysters, are in various stages of development.

The oyster “seeds” are purchased from an approved hatchery and are “planted” at the East Dennis farm. When the tide is out, the Lowells are at work tending their crop of oysters which are contained in hundreds of trays that are suspended on poles.

The oysters stay above the sand, but are bathed by nutrient-rich crystal clear salt water when the tide is in.

For the tour of the oyster farm, participants are asked to park at the first parking area upon entering Crowes Pasture. The hike begins there.

Comfortable footwear is required and participants are asked to bring water shoes or sandals to change into on the flats.

Oysters will be available to purchase at the event using cash only.

Please RSVP to Katherine Garofoli at [email protected] or call 508-362-3422.