The Gooseberry Bays are farmed and spend their entire grow out (four to five years) in ADPI bags. For the majority of their grow out, the Gooseberry Bays are suspended at the top of the water column as the bags are positively buoyed. This method of grow out exposes the oysters to the suns rays (resulting in a thickening of the valves), holds them squarely in the nutrient rich tidal wash, and keeps the oysters out of the reach of predators.
Three times a summer, the Gooseberry Points and the ADPI bags are removed from the water. The Gooseberry Bays are emptied from the bags, run over a shaker, and then sent through a tumbler. The shaking and tumbling actions chip away any irregular growth from the oysters, thereby keeping them consistent in size and shape, while facilitating greater cup definition. As an aside…While the Gooseberry Bays are going through this process, the ADPI bags are being cleaned and undergo any required routine maintenance.In the winter months, when a thick sheet of ice covers the lease, the bags are sunk to the floor of the estuary, and the Gooseberry Bays are suspended just above the hard-packed clay and sand. Mind you…At no time do the Gooseberry Bays come in contact with the seabed. After the spring break up, the ballast tanks are once again filled with air, and the bags and oysters are floated. When the Gooseberry Bays reach market size (roughly three and a quarter inches in length), the bags are once again sunk for three weeks so the oysters can “brine up”. This process brings that oh-so-familiar and desirable level of Malpeque Bay salinity to the Gooseberry Bays.
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