Have a Taste of the Island Life 

 Flavor Profile- Sturdy shell with plump pearly meat. Beautiful brine (mid 20's ppt) Earthy light herb. Finish is sweet shrimp. Dense tofu texture and of course tastes like home.

Pairings- Muscadet wine, Dry Champagne, Generic light beer, Dry Sake, 

 

Located on the West End of Dauphin Island, Alabama, Massacre Island Oyster Ranch (M.I.O.R.) resides in the calm briny waters of the Mississippi Sound. Rolling waves from the Gulf and the songs of migratory birds are the soundtrack of the farm. Our oysters are hand crafted single set boutique oysters raised in off bottom floating cages. We bring our passion with us everyday to deliver you a quality, safe, healthy, and sustainable product. 

We offer Petite Oysters (2.5 in-3in) as MIOR oysters and Bridgeview Oysters (3.5in-4.25in)

Click the link below to read about the founder (Tyler Myers) and MIOR. 

Tyler-Myers-the-Oyster-Aquaculturist-Oyster-Champion

In a Half Shell Blog post link

“Oysters on the Edge of the World”

   Tyler S. Myers

 

1/10/2019

 

My occupation is oyster farming. I grow beautiful edible stories. They are true works of art that nourish the body and soul.

 

At the age of four, my parents purchased a barren lot of land on the North side of Dauphin Island. In my Father's spare time, he built our house by hand. He was a part time commercial fisherman and used car salesmen. I spent the weekends of my youth playing in the briny murky waters of the the Gulf of Mexico. I marveled at the beauty of  the sea and was awestruck by all the resources the sea could provide. Mullet fish for frying, coquina clams for pasta dishes, driftwood for crafting shelter from the sun and warmth from bonfires at night, and of course, oysters. My dad taught me how to fish and reap the rewards of the sea.

 

We had dogs growing up. One loved the water more than I did. His name was Rusty. He was a purebred, Black Snouted, Golden Junkyard Dog. We would play from sun up to sun down and at the end of the day, he would refuse to come inside and dig a hole where he would lay until one of us carried him inside. Back then, I would have to watch where I threw sticks in the water for him to fetch. For if care was not taken, he would bound into the sea and cut his paws, on the razor sharp bills, of the shells in the oyster reefs. Before long, I no longer had to worry about where we could play, as the oysters all but disappeared. At the time I didn’t think much of it. I imagine I even found relief in there absence. They were more of an inanimate nuisance to me than a living creature that would later become my livelihood. That thinking changed when my father decided to poke around at the Auburn University shellfish laboratory one day. He met Scott Rikard. Scott introduced us all to oyster gardening. Oyster gardening was a program to help restore the reefs. The hatchery gave the participant a metal basket and juvenile oysters set on old shells to take care of for a year.

My Dad enrolled us in the gardening program and we volunteered my neighbors pier to hold the small cages. The cages contained shells with tiny oyster spat attached to the shells. For a year, we nurtured them and watched them grow. Upon their maturity, they were returned to Auburn, where they deposited them on the remaining reefs in the hopes to aid in the reefs’ revival. I began to pay attention to the oyster more. I would pick up ancient oyster shells and admire their beauty. If they were broken, I would try to imagine how they broke, what they would have looked like while alive. I didn’t know it, but, I was creating stories about the life of the creature, which now, only a shell of its former self remained. Since the age of 14, more than half my life ago, I have been handling cultured oysters off and on. I asked Scott every summer for a job at the hatchery from 16 years old until, at the age of 22, he let me join his team. For a summer, I helped spawn millions of oysters. It was hard work. I felt I was not good at the academic aspect of the job. I did feel however, that I could run an oyster farm.

 

I pursued a degree in Aquaculture, at Auburn University, after switching majors from Agricultural Business and Economics. My first “farm class” in that major really threw me for a loop. All the other students looked, sounded, and talked like farmers. They had cowboy boots, hats, and all. A classmate turned and asked with a thick southern drawl, what kind of farm my daddy ran. I was in flip flops and shorts and my dad was a used car salesmen and former fisherman. I failed the class and quickly changed majors. I landed on Aquaculture upon my mother's reminder of the volunteer work I had done on the pier mentioned above.  A few years later, at 25 I obtained my degree. I applied to several places and never heard back, from a single one. before and after completing my degree. With no other option, I focused on my oysters and found my way back to the sea. Just into my first year of marriage, and shortly before graduating college, I began farming oysters commercially. I built my farm in my spare time my last year at Auburn University with the help of my family. After graduating, I spent my time taking care of my infant daughter and running the farm simultaneously, while my wife worked. After a time, we had enough money saved and my wife could quit work. She now nurtures, teaches, and raises both my daughter, and my son. This is something she wanted to do her whole life. I now run a renowned and successful oyster farm.

Every oyster has its own tale to tell. It is a tale of survival and hardships. A tale of Hurricanes, predators both human and animal, and the mercy of the sea. The oyster is a reflection of our own stories. Eating an oyster is like catching a glimpse of the farmers soul and experiencing the human condition through the senses of sight, touch, and taste, and if lucky, through the sound of the farmers lips himself.

 

Bon appetit!