Henderson Inlet Oysters

Oct 20, 2009

One of the newest oysters to hit the market has a fantastic story behind it. Henderson Inlet is a charming estuary in southern Puget Sound, not far from Olympia. For years it was closed to shellfish harvesting due to water quality issues. But in 2003 the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, along with many partners, started a community shellfish farm with the express purpose of restoring water quality to the inlet. Numerous individuals and institutions in the area pitched in by reducing their nutrient loads into the inlet, and in 2008 the water quality was so improved that Henderson Inlet oysters became commercially available for the first time. All proceeds from the sale of the oysters (which are often available at the Olympia Seafood Company in downtown Olympia, Washington) goes back to the community farm to continue to improve the water, so you can know that your purchase is helping to bring back Puget Sound.

And how’s this for cool? The farm has started what may be the world’s first oyster CSA. Community Supported Agriculture, as you may be aware, is a model of sustainable farming where members buy a share of a farm’s produce at the beginning of the season, and then receive a weekly allotment of food. I do one here in Vermont, but if I was in Olympia I’d surely buy into the Henderson Inlet farm for my weekly supply of plump, full-flavored Pacific oysters. For more information or to participate, contact the Puget Sound Restoration Fund.

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