Oysters

Grant Blankenship / GPB

There's no future in crabbing.

That's the conclusion Earnest McIntosh, Sr. came to when his son, Ernest McIntosh, Jr. said he wanted to work with his father on the water near their home in Harris Neck, Ga., in McIntosh County. 

"I couldn't see a future into crabbing. But I could see it into oysters," McIntosh, Sr. said. 

That's farmed oysters. Earnest Sr. grew up watching his father work on a crab boat. Earnest Jr. did the same with his dad. Tending to metal cages of oysters spread around the marshland that they lease is what they are hoping will allow them to continue the tradition. 

Mashama Bailey is a fan. Bailey is the head, James Beard Award nominated chef at The Grey restaurant in Savannah. Harris Neck oysters are the first item on the online menu for the restaurant in face.

On a drive from Savannah to Florida, Bailey said she caught the odor of Harris Neck oysters on the wind. 

"They're marshy and funky but they're also clean and salty at the same time," Bailey said. 

In this short film, head out onto the water near Harris Neck where the oysters are farmed with Bailey and the McIntoshes. 

Eight miles down a dirt road through the swamps of southwest Alabama, Lane Zirlott has 1.8 million oysters in the water at his family's farm in Sandy Bay.

"What we've been doing is trying to redefine what people are thinking of a Southern gulf oyster," Zirlott says.

The Murder Point oyster farm covers about two and half acres in the bay. The name changed from "Myrtle Point" in 1929, after a deadly dispute over oyster territory.

In the summer of 1989, construction workers in Augusta made a frightening discovery. They uncovered close to ten thousand bones buried in the dirt basement of a 150-year-old building. The markings on the bones revealed that they came from dissected bodies. The story of how the bones got there and the person responsible is a disturbing chapter in Augusta's medical history.

Oyster Renaissance In the South

Jun 7, 2016
The Ordinary

You can serve them fried, steamed, or raw on the half shell. But oysters probably don't immediately come to mind as a food product of Georgia. Now there is an oyster renaissance underway in the South, and the tasty mollusk will be the subject of a class at this weekend's Southern Grown Festival on Sea Island. 

Atlanta's Most Unusual Breakfast

Mar 24, 2016
Andrew Thomas Lee

As business manager and shellfish director of Kimball House, Bryan Rackley's mornings often begin with him opening multiple boxes of oysters. Some come via freight shipping, some via couriers. They're packed in ice or surrounded by special gel coolants. The mussels come from places like Skunk Island, Washington and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Offerings from Virginia, California, and South Carolina are often in the mix as well.