Gayle G Enterprises is preparing 20 acres of natural oyster beds to sustain a healthy and productive shellfish harvest for years to come.
100% of $101,500
Funded on 12/08/2021
Meet the Farmers
Andrew Wilhelm began his shellfishing career at the age of 19 and has been hooked ever since. Working as a deck-hand for the largest Milford-owned and operated firm, Briarpatch Enterprises, Andrew was promoted to captain in just two years and began operating a seed oyster vessel. Most recently, he managed a local 27-acre oyster farm and was responsible for all water-based operations and management. Through this experience, he was able to learn and perfect the art of commercial shellfishing.
While on a stint as a lobsterman in Maine, Andrew purchased his first commercial boat, the “Gayle G” at age 25. Everyone knows it’s bad luck to change the name of a boat, so Andrew decided to name his business after his classic and trusty lobster boat. Since then, Gayle G Enterprises has been subcontracted to manage shellfish operations around Connecticut.
In 2022, Gayle G Enterprises has a great opportunity to acquire 50-acres of certified shellfish grounds along an outlet of the Housatonic River. The preparation of oyster beds on 20 acres of this site will lay the grounds for a thriving natural oyster and clam bed with sustainable harvest for years to come.
Gayle G Enterprises plans to build on the existing relationships Andrew holds with distributors during the first year of production. Two local distributors will serve as clients while direct-to-consumer, farmers markets, and other wholesale accounts are established. Gayle G Enterprises is excited for this rare opportunity to steward a natural shellfish bed and begin their first harvest during the summer of 2022.
Regenerative & Sustainable Practices
Gayle G Enterprises utilizes the following techniques to achieve its mission of building and sustaining healthy shellfish beds, all while contributing to the economic and ecological health of their local community:
Shell-shifting and stirring promote natural growth and seeding by creating an environment in which oysters thrive.
Sustainable harvest management techniques are utilized to ensure natural populations of oysters for subsequent years.
Oysters are natural filter feeders, meaning they feed by pumping water through their gills. A single healthy oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day. By creating a sustainable oyster bed, Gayle G Enterprises is working to improve water quality for other aquatic life.
Employing a team of 6 crewmates provides critical training and experience for new workers in the industry.
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