Know Your Producer: Hollywood Oyster Co.

Oyster farming started as a hobby for Tal Petty. When he realized how good the oysters were, he knew they couldn't keep all the fun to themselves, and that is how Hollywood Oyster Co. was born.

Hollywood misty morning Tal Petty was raised a city boy, but one whose weekends were spent working the family farm near Hollywood, MD, aptly named “Tranquility Farm.”

In 2004, the state of Maryland began encouraging folks to bring back oysters to their waterways, once so prevalent. Tal took on the challenge, enabling the oysters to clean and care for the waters around his farm.

Hollywood dock nursery sunset Tal and his neighbors started the "Oyster Grower Watcher Association", an excuse to drink cocktails on the dock overlooking the waters where oysters grew.

The waters of St. Mary's county turned out to be perfect for oyster cultivation, and what was once a hobby became a fast-growing business with an onward chant of “Ho Oy!”

Hollywood dock nursery : spat With the oyster nursery on their dock, Tal and the team at Hollywood Oyster Co are able to keep a close eye on the oyster spat before they are placed in the waters to finish growing to market size.

Their two oysters are similar in having gorgeous shells in creamy ivory and purple hues. With a clean salinity and slightly sweet but nutty finish, the Hollywood oyster and Sweet Jesus oyster perfectly reflect the waters from where they are cultivated.

Hollywood dock sign Don't be fooled by the calm waters, there's a lot going on underneath!

Since he started raising oysters in the estuary, Tal has seen a flurry of new life. Turtles, fish and birds are making this corner of Hollywood, MD their home once again, alongside growing beds of oysters.

Hollywood tal oysters dock These days the Hollywood Oyster Co is gaining a following in Maryland and beyond.

Throughout all the fame, this Chesapeake estuary remains a slice of heaven for Tal and his family. The oysters grow quietly, a perfect match for "Tranquility Farms."

 

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Posted Nov 5th by Danielle