When it comes to CSAs, the first thought is almost always beautiful tomatoes, vibrant greens, crunchy celery, juicy corn — produce. Some farms will have add ons like fruit, cheese, meat or eggs. But how about oysters?
Little Ram Oysters is taking a dive into community supported aquaculture, that is, following a similar plan to a traditional community supported agriculture but using their own products. “We are members of CSAs,” said Stefanie Bassett, who founded Little Ram Oysters with her partner Elizabeth Peeples. “The thing that we love about them is the fact that we are supporting our local farmers and giving them the tools they need to have a successful year.”
The oyster CSA comes in two different options. Both start on Memorial Day, while one finishes on New Years Eve, meant for the year-rounder, while the other ends on Labor Day, meant for the summer crowd. Weekly or bi-weekly, depending on which option you choose, you’ll get 25 oysters, a lemon and a seasonal “sidekick,” what Bassett and Peeples call the delicious sauces that pair with the oysters. Each share comes with a Little Ram Oyster membership that includes a shucking knife, block and glove, an oyster tray, five percent off online purchases and early access to events.
“We realized a lot of our customers last year were coming back week after week,” Bassett said. “It was clear to us that it would be really great to just have this thing set up for them so they know every single Friday, whether they’re coming out to their second home or whether they live here, that it’s going to be available to them.”
As a way to spruce up the traditional oyster, Little Ram is also rolling out a monthly kit starting June 4. Each kit highlights a different way oysters can be enjoyed. The first one is a sidekick tasting with their version of cocktail sauce, a preserved lemon sauce and a Laotian Bang Bang sauce. From there, they just get more creative — a grilled oyster kit, a Bloody Mary kit, a chowder kit. Each kit comes out the first Friday of the month and can be purchased individually, as a whole subscription or in conjunction with the CSA.
At the end of the day, community supported aquaculture takes care of the oyster farmer just as much as community supported agriculture takes care of the crop farmer. “It helps us as farmers purchase the oyster seed that we put on the farm and purchase more gear,” Bassett said. “To be able to expand and just keep the flow of our farm moving in a more sustainable way.”
The Little Ram CSA is pick-up only at the Little Ram farm stand, 12710 Soundview Avenue in Southold, and the order cut-off date is March 31. For the 31 week share, prices start at $180/month for 3 months. For the 15 week share, prices start at $173.33/month for 3 months.