Hard Shell Harvest

Listen to "Hard Shell Harvest" and fill in the gaps.
"Oh I love it. I couldn't see myself in an office." Kevin McClarren is a to Chesapeake Bay. He moved . But this former Massachusetts resident says he's fallen in love with this huge, historic estuary (Mündung) and the famous oysters . "We're about a hundred miles from the ocean here. We're in a brackish (brackig) environment where, from a biological standpoint, that's where oysters want to live. You get this broth (Brühe) of that produce an oyster with I think an ."

, an oyster farm. Here, where the freshwater Choptank River flows into the salty bay is where you'll find Choptank Oyster Company. hand-raise close to two million oysters each year. "I always say we're a little than we are like farming. We're not . We're just kind of taking care of them until ."

That care begins here at the hatchery (Laichplatz) where the oysters grow from microscopic larvae called "spat". "There’s probably a thousand oysters in this handful." That's right! of wet sand, is actually thousands of oysters attached to bits of broken shell. , they're transferred onto these boxes made from window screens (Fensterscheibe). They'll grow to about the size of a quarter and then will be moved to these floats right on the bay as many as ten-thousand in each one. "We grow them for a half a summer then we pull them out, , tumble (durcheinanderbringen) them and at a lower level. And that process continues until they're large enough to harvest." The harvested oysters are close by where they're washed destined for (bestimmt sein für) stores and restaurants .

Travis Todd can't wait for delivery (Lieferung). They take them right off the dock (Kai). Travis is the of the Todd family at the Ocean Odyssey restaurant. "What I really, really like about it is the fact that this is our . Yet it's being grown, it's being grown rather than just harvested in the wild. What we have is some rendered (ausgelassen) bacon and keep the fat. Ah, you're gonna add to that fat, you're gonna add ." Today Travis is making Oysters Bubbafeller, a variation on the famous Oysters Rockefeller: , lemon juice, heavy cream, arugula (Senfrauke) and . "As soon as you bread (panieren) these things, you want to get them in the fryer." For something different, how about a po-boy (Sandwich) shucked (ausgeschält) and breaded and fried made from oysters . "Ocean Odyssey is one of the local restaurants we have and he uses our oysters in everything. Because he sees the quality of it ."

Chesapeake Bay is estuaries. It's two hundred miles long and as much as thirty miles wide fed by a hundred fifty rivers and streams. That proved perfect for oysters and oystermen who've been reaping (einfahren) Chesapeake's waterborne bounty (Gabe der Natur) for centuries. , population growth brought water pollution and disease. Today the wild oyster population is less than one percent of what it was in the late 1800s. Twenty years ago oystermen worked these waters. Today there are .

"Oysters are considered a keystone species, which means you know, … it really is the linchpin (Kernstück) for the health of the bay." Kevin says oysters are . "They're an essential part of a healthy ecosystem. The guys who do this testing will tell you that an adult oyster will filter fifty gallons a day, out of the bay. You know filter it, taking the algae out." Thanks to efforts by dozens of , scientists, and , Chesapeake Bay is . "But if we can get the oysters back to historic levels, you would see the, the green color drop out of this water in no time at all. Every oyster that's coming off my farm is one more, wild oyster that's left in place. It , but it may work." "The fact that we can grow great products like this, make them marketable, sell them and improve the water systems as we go along, that’s to me just ."