Long Island’s First Vertical Ocean Farm

What Noise Annoys an Oyster? The Long Island Sound! Thimble Island Oysters serves the ecosystem and our taste buds with a vertical ocean farm.


What do you get when you cross 40 acres of ocean with a brilliant shellfish and seaweed farmer? Apparently, you get Long Island Sound’s first vertical ocean farm. Bren Smith is the owner of Thimble Island Oysters, which uses 3-D ocean farming to combat climate change, restore the ecosystem, and create “blue-green jobs” for fisherman. On top of that, they bring local seafood to Long Island and the surrounding area through their CSF (community supported fishery), the first one in Long Island Sound history.

Promoting sustainability at every angle, they call themselves a “farm designed to restore rather than deplete our oceans – a farm growing local food but also biofuel and organic fertilizer.” The kelp grown at the farm absorbs five times the carbon of land-based plants, the seaweed and shellfish draws up to 50 gallons of nitrogen daily, and the self-sustaining farm requires no inputs like water or fertilizer. It is possible to grow up to 2000 gallons of biofuel per acre, which on a 40-acre farm is no insignificant number.

Thimble Island Oysters also emphasizes the health benefits of their products. Their slogan “Eat Like a Fish!” aims to redesign the diet to include more seaweed and kelp. Literally: fish food. If it doesn’t sound too fishy to you, Thimble Island Oysters makes such unique products as kelp linguini, kelp cocktails, and kelp ice cream, all chock full of protein, calcium, and omega-3s.

If you want to get in on the action, you can join Thimble Island Oyster’s CSF or buy wholesale for events. For more information, visit www.thimbleislandoysters.com.