ANNAPOLIS — If you ever wanted to grow your own oysters the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has the supplies and training to get you started. An oyster gardeners workshop for new oyster gardeners will be held in Easton at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center on Washington Street 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Sept. 18 and registration is now open.
There is a one-time fee of $50 to cover materials and oysters. Registration is online here.
During the two-hour workshop, participants will learn about oyster ecology, the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay, and how to care for an oyster garden. Participants will also construct four oyster gardening cages that they will use to grow oysters.
Once the cages are finished, each registered participant will receive two bags (roughly one bushel, approximately 2,000 baby oysters) of oyster "spat on shell" to take home and care for over the fall, winter, and early spring months.
Once grown to adult size, gardeners will return their oysters to CBF for replanting onto a nearby sanctuary reef. The now hardy adult oysters will remain on the sanctuary where they can provide water quality and habitat benefits for the Chesapeake Bay.
(Volunteers are advised that all spat-on-shell provided by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation remains the property of CBF and is to be returned at the end of the growing season.)
For more information on water quality requirements and program specifics, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. For further questions and inquiries contact the oyster gardening team at MDoystergardening@cbf.org.