The Chesapeake Bay was once so full of oysters, its entire volume of water was filtered often. The oysters harvested in the Bay were exported globally and so valuable, turf violence was an everyday occurrence.
The Chester River is a major river in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Region and home to the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge.
The farm lease is located adjacent to the Refuge's pristine wetlands and waters. This ensures Orchard Points are well protected from agricultural and urban runoff. Our oysters are raised in a subtidal cove fed by a direct inlet to the Bay. This exposes them to a clean, fresh supply of food and salty Bay flush, both twice daily. The namesake, Orchard Point, once an upriver farming wharf in the mid-1700s, is closer to the historic colonial town of Chestertown.
The Chester is one of only three other EPA designated No Discharge Zones in Maryland, meaning all boats are prohibited from discharging any sewage into the water. The water is classified as "Open" to shellfish harvesting, as monitored by MDE.
Our farm is located within a two hour drive of DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia, enabling us to harvest to order and deliver direct.
We employ submerged off-bottom cages to ensure the oysters are protected from predators and preserve the natural beauty of the watershed. This low placement in the water column, combined with the surrounding hard bottom, is responsible for the unique merroir* and resulting flavor profile.
Copyright 2019© Orchard Point Oyster Company. All Rights Reserved.
All photography by JAD or DGDC Photography unless otherwise noted.
* Merroir is akin to a wine's terroir
Over 20B gallons of water filtered by Orchard Point Oysters to date!