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join our CSF!

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Want seafood that is local and sustainable? Want to support local ocean farmers? Want to help restore our shoreline ocean estuaries?

Here’s how: Join our Community Supported Fisheries (CSF)! Screen shot 2013-09-29 at 12.35.42 PM

Thimble Island Oyster Co. is proud to have started the first CSF in Connecticut (and Long Island Sound) history. Modeled on land-based CSAs, we’ve created a way for local residents to eat local, help restore the shoreline’s ocean ecosystem, and support local shellfish farmers. Here’s NPR story about our CSF.

Here’s How Our CSF Works: You pay an annual fee toward our farm’s operating costs and, in return, receive a monthly share of our shellfish harvest. As a CSF partner, you’ll receive one dozen oysters and two dozen clams each month for 6 months starting in April. (In 2012 members will also receive mussels and kelp.)

CSF’s are based on the idea that to produce local sustainable food, growers and consumers need to share the risks and benefits of food production.  In other words, you invest in our farm and get local sustainable seafood in return!

Three Reasons to join the Thimble Island CSF:

  • Eat Local, Sustainable Seafood: Most of our seafood comes from far flung regions of the country and globe. In the era of climate change, flying shrimp in from China or salmon in from Alaska is no longer sustainable. We need to eat local by supporting sustainable farmers in CT.
  • Environmental Restoration: Oysters are considered a “keystone” species by conservation biologists because of the critical role they play in maintaining the structure of an ecological community.  Our shellfish farm significantly improve water quality and our underwater cages provide habitat for dozens of types sea life, including sponges, crabs and many species of fish. According to Mike Beck, lead marine scientist with The Nature Conservancy. “Shellfish farms represent one of most — if not the most — sustainable form of fish production.”
  • Community Investment: Sharing the burden of shellfish losses due to storms, diseases and predators, helps our farm weather bad times, repair equipment, and ensures that we’re growing local food in CT for years to come.  If we have a bad season, you’ll get fewer shellfish, but when there’s a bumper shellfish crop, we all do well. Plus, food dollars stay local, which strengthens communities.

How Much Does it Cost to Join? Once a year you pay $175. In return, you will receive a dozen oysters and two dozen clams each month for 6 months starting in April.

How to Sign Up:

  • Just order online through our storefront at Etsy.com, which uses Paypal to process payments*
  • Or email us at thimbleislandoysters@gmail.com. Or call 203-533-9670.

Where do I Pick up My Share? You pick up your shellfish share on the last Saturday of the month starting in May. There are two pickup locations:

If you don’t know how to store or shuck your oysters, check out our “How To Store and Shuck an Oyster” page. If you have any questions, email us at thimbleislandoysters@gmail.com. Thanks for supporting local ocean farmers!

* I understand that CSF members take the risks and reap the rewards of a working farm, and recognize that specific crop availability is depended on the unpredictable forces of nature.  I agree that it is my responsibility to pick up my share each month at the selected distribution location. No refunds will be made.