Sun Farm Oysters was started in on a quarter acre in 2006 and sold its first oyster two years later. The concept of the farm was to demonstrate that Block Island’s economy did not have to be so tightly tied to tourism. Block Island has distinct advantage when it comes to ocean based farming. The foremost is our water quality which is the best in Rhode Island. Although the logistics are challenging, we believe there is an important role for aquaculture to have in our local and State economy. We have now grown to 3 acres that are in different areas of Block Island’s Great Salt Pond. Block Island’s oysters, and Sun Farm’s oysters are saltier than most. There are few freshwater streams and little brackish water, which gives our oysters a distinctive briny flavor. It takes a bitter farmer to raise a salty oyster!
Why the name Sun Farm? Many farming operations do not have access to utility power (shore power for aquaculture is the common term). The principal of Sun Farms has designed off and grid tied renewable energy systems for over 25 years. Using the power of the sun and wind, we have been able to power our upwellers and sorting machines using the latest appropriate renewable energy technologies. We can help design a system for your farm.
Sun Farm is active in building oyster reef sanctuaries. The first one began construction in 2009. It has grown to such as size that it can be seen using satellite imagery. Overseen by Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management and the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture, our reef shows is growing and has some of the best biological characteristics in the State! Oyster reefs are an innovative method to improve water quality, provide for species diversity and offer a fascinating insight into how nature builds and creates environments. We also recycle oyster shell from our customers and farm, redistributing it to our oyster reef sanctuary in the Great Salt Pond.