Nestled in Tomales Bay just north of San Francisco lies Hog Island Oyster Co. Starting out with a mere five acres in 1983 and growing into what is now 160 acres, Hog Island has built a sustainable aquaculture farm that feeds the surrounding area. Certified by the Food Alliance as a Sustainable Shellfish Producer, for Hog Island the decision to practice sustainable methods was a no brainer.
Oysters are a filter feeder, which means clean water conditions are crucial. The folks at Hog Island practice sustainable oyster farming methods not only as a concern for the product, but also out of obligation to the environment. Hog Island is in constant review of their farming practices, ensuring that they maintain their sustainable standards. Serving up their “Bay to Bar” philosophy, Hog Island holds their company to the highest of standards when it comes to sustainability.
Spring is upon us and that means planting season is in full swing, planting oyster seeds that is! These tiny baby oysters are heading to our beloved bay along with 3 million+ of their brothers and sisters to start growing into fat and juicy bivalves! #hogislandoysterco #oysters #oysterfarming #fromseedtoplate
By opening up their own Hog Island Bar and selling at local farmer’s markets, the majority of Hog Island seafood is bought and consumed within a fifty mile radius. This not only keeps the oysters and other shellfish fresh, but it enables their company to reduce its carbon footprint.
Packaging and shipping is dramatically reduced when the product is sold locally, and this is one way in which Hog Island is trying to make a positive environmental impact.
They also joined the likes of Patagonia and Seventh Generation by becoming a Certified B Corporation. In doing so, they are one of many companies dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and society.
To get a taste of Hog Island, you can visit their Tomales Bay farm in Marshall, California. Tours and picnic reservations cans be made to get a inside look – and taste – of the oyster farm. They also have a waterfront Hog Island Bar in the historic San Francisco Ferry Building as well as bar in the Oxbow Public Market in Napa. Menus include fresh seafood, regional produce, and tasty beverages.
For those that can’t wait, here’s a glimpse at life on the Hog Island Co. farm. From sea to table, shucking doesn’t get any fresher than this.
Look at those little guys! Like everything, they start out small, real small.
There is an art to shucking. If you’ve never tried it, let the experts show you how it’s done.
Shucked and Ready
This aerial view of the vast acreage of the farm in Tomales Bay is no joke.
No machine here! All the oyster are sorted through by hand to ensure customers are getting the cream of the crop.
Working on the Boats
Rain or shine, they load up the boats to tend to the farm.
Chucking the Shuck
It’s hard work, but somebody has to do it!
Tending the Farm
Put on the waders, because tending to the farm includes tromping in the bay.
Hog Island oysters are not only available at their select locations. They also hit up the local farmers markets to bring the sea to you.
Ready for Sale
Buy a bag and shuck your way to happiness with fresh oysters right off the farm.
Eat on the Farm
From the bay right onto your plate, the best – and freshest – way to enjoy these bad boys is right on the farm.
Something about eating it at the source with the smell of saltwater in the air just tastes better.
Ferry Building Seafood Platter
If you’re in San Francisco, stop by the ferry building and order this mouthwatering fresh seafood platter. Or just pop in for a single oyster at the Hog Island Oyster Bar.
Hog Wash and Beer
What could be better than a plate of fresh oysters dipped in Hog Wash and a pint of beer?
Hog Wash is their signature raw oyster sauce. Check out their recipe here.
Marooned on Hog Island
Marooned On Hog Island by @21stamendment is finally here at Hog Headquarters! We will be serving it on tap today and until supplies last at #theboat restaurant and will be serving it by the can too. Come on up for a visit and taste this amazing oyster beer!#hogislandoysterco #21stamendment #maroonedonhogisland
If you can’t get a taste of fresh Hog Island oysters, maybe you’re lucky enough to get a sip of their collaboration with 21st Amendment Brewery located in San Francisco. This Bay Area beer collaboration called Marooned on Hog Island is an oyster stout with Hog Island’s Sweetwater oysters. And it’s good, real good.
To find out more about Hog Island Oyster Co. and where you can purchase their seafood, checkout their website. And if you happen to find yourself traveling in the Tomales Bay area, checkout the farm and get shucking!