First Chance To Buy A Share Of The Catch | Connecticut Public Radio

First Chance To Buy A Share Of The Catch

Jun 23, 2011

The number of businesses supporting the local food movement is continuing to expand in Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports on the state’s first community supported fishing venture

A growing number of consumers are getting fresh produce and other farm products by buying a share of the summer’s harvest directly from a farm. The idea is known as Community Supported Agriculture. Fisherman Brendan Smith, who grows 60 acres of shellfish among the Thimble Islands, wanted to test out the idea of a community supported fishery.

“It was really time to bring the local food movement out into the ocean and the fishing culture.”

Smith, of the Thimble Islands Oyster Company, teamed up with Chef Bun Lai from the Miya Sushi restaurant in New Haven. Lai announced on his Facebook page they had 30 shares to sell. The price was $150 dollars for a dozen oysters and 2 dozen clams  once a month for half a year. Within six days, people had purchased all of them, says Smith.

“They want to know their local oyster farmer. They want to know where their food is coming from. People want to come out in the boat and help and see how we farm oysters because it’s new to a lot people.”

Instead of having money come in dribs and drabs, Smith says the upfront payments have allowed him to purchase all his oyster seed for the next season. He says the quick response from the public is inspiring him to sell 500 shares next year—enough to support his entire business.