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How to grow oysters: Learning on my family’s oyster farm

The Mastrangelo family at the Greenport Farmers Market.

The Mastrangelo family at the Greenport Farmers Market. From left: Sam, Max, mom Holly, dad Phil, Franklin and Thomas. Credit: Mastrangelo family

Along the coast of Oysterponds Creek lies an awe-inspiring oyster farm, Race Rock Oysters. It is an oyster company that my dad, Phil Mastrangelo, owns along with a few of his companions. These oysters are fresh from the creek in Orient. There is only one variety you can buy, the Atlantic Coast oyster.

My brothers and I always try to help as much as we can to keep my father’s business running. Our company delivers to different restaurants across Long Island, such as North Fork Table & Inn, and also to restaurants in Manhattan, such as Oceana.

The process of oyster farming is not that complicated. The oysters start out in barrels, and when they grow big enough, they are put into crates. After they are in the crates, they are sorted by size in a big machine and then sorted again and put into bags. When they are in bags, they are tagged with a card that shows the name of the farm where they were raised. Then they are shipped.

I like what my father does, and I might follow in his footsteps when I get older. Right now, one of my jobs is simple: I pull the bags filled with oysters out of the water on our oyster farm.

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