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Farm-raised Chesapeake oysters making a splash at area’s top restaurants

Farm-raised Chesapeake oysters making a splash at area’s top restaurants
Baltimore – It was just before noon when Jon Farrington sat down at the Thames Street Oyster House, a box of Calvert Crest Oysters on his lap. He and his tablemates, Len Zuza of the Southern Maryland Oyster Cultivation Society and Steve Vilnit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ordered some beers, a couple of bowls of oyster stew and some salads.

And then they waited.

The trio was supposed to meet with the restaurant’s chef so he could taste Farrington’s farm-raised oysters, which the one-time aerospace engineer grows near his home in a creek off the Patuxent River. As the chef slurped the plump oyster, Zuza was going to make his pitch: For every oyster Thames Street buys from Farrington, the oyster farmer would replant two. One would go back on the oyster farm; the second would go into the vast grounds managed by Zuza’s organization, which has planted more than 7 million oysters at its own expense. Vilnit was on hand in case the chef had any questions about raising oysters.


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