Part 1 - On the Souris River in PEI
There is nothing like eating a super fresh oyster. But eating one straight from the water it's grown in, is magical. One can only get this experience on a farm, and PEI has some of the best in North America.
A cold, wet spring has set back the major planting of PEI’s largest land crop: potatoes. So the farmers' tractors were out in full force tilling the rich, red soil late into the evening upon our arrival. It does not register just how far east and north you are until you realize the time is an hour ahead of the east coast, and the light starts to fill the sky before 5AM and ends the day after 10PM.
We were fortunate enough to get picked up by Phil Enserink (pictured on the left with the ROC hat), owner of East Cape Oysters. We headed out of Charlottetown east through the country roads to Phil’s farm on the Souris River. Down the end of a red, clay road we met up with Phil’s farm manager Jes. We hopped in one of the farm boats and headed down the river. I was struck by the rolling farmland that spilled into the river that was clear and cold. We had a beautiful, sunny day which allowed us to see clear through the water. One of PEI’s most unique oysters, the prized Sand Dunes, are grown by Phil and his team directly on the red clay sea bottom. We floated up on several of the crew, donned in waiters standing in waist deep water hand-tonging crates of oysters. They came over to the boat and offered up some of their bounty. After throwing back a few oysters shucked by Phil, we chatted with the boys a bit and headed back up the river. And I couldn't help but think, this beautiful place was familiar. I had been here before, the first time I had ever tasted a Sand Dune.