Oyster Farming with Hannah Puckett

Sorting oysters and scraping off sea life from the Mexican Trays (named because they are made in Mexico)

Sorting oysters and scraping off sea life from the Mexican Trays (named because they are made in Mexico)

For this week’s episode, we sat down with Hannah Puckett: digital strategist, ocean advocate, citizen scientist, and everything in between. Growing up, Hannah was drawn to the outdoors. She spent her summers camping with her family and road tripping across the country. With a passion for writing and research, she studied advertising at the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a masters degree in strategic business communications. After some self reflection, at age 25, she decided to trade in her spreadsheets for a rubber rain suit, cubicle for the Alaskan Wilderness, thus embarking on a journey to explore her unusual passion for oysters.


Woofing Program: World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms

Wwoof costs $40/year to join and allows you to connect with more than 2,000 farms across the USA. Of those 2,000 , Hannah was able to find one oyster farm. And that is how she met Dave. 

Find out more at wwoofusa.org

Oyster Eating: 

Hannah jokes that the number of "oyster celebrities" can probably be counted on one hand. But blogger and self-proclaimed oyster sommelier, Julie Qui would be included. 

Link to blog: Rowan Jacobsen's Rules of Oyster Eating (and Julie Qiu's In a Half Shell Blog)


Lastly, Hannah shared some good reads that were important to her journey. Below are her reflections. 

  • OYSTER 101 : 

Meet Paris Oyster: A Love Affair with the Perfect Food by Mireille Guiliano, 2014

"Bite sized and delighful from start to finish; when reading Paris Oyster, it's as if you're at the table with Guiliano sipping on Muscudet and Belons as she tells you everything you'd want to know about how to enjoy oysters like the French... a wonderful gift for oyster lovers, both novice and expert."

A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America by Rowan Jacobsen, 2008

"The unofficial American Oyster Eater's Field Guide, as told by a guy who literally went there and tried that. It's a comprehensive index of oyster varieties unique to North America's East, West, and Gulf Coasts, and an almanac of noteworthy farms and oyster bars that serve them. Jacobsen is inspirational to me personally as a curious person who has turned interests into income... who also dabbles at the intersections of food, cultures, and the environment."

The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky, 2007

"Oyster culture is more intertwined to the story of The United States than I ever knew. For history nerds, this book is as informative as it is a blast to read, all about the growth of New York City as told via the rise and fall of it's once bountiful, world-famous oyster beds."

  • Inspiration for Living Non-Traditionally:

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-term World Travel by Rolf Potts, 2003

"Living Your Best Life Out of a Bag 101: This book is choke full of resources, tips, and words of wisdom from fellow slow travelers, and how to enjoy and sustain a life on the move."

Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard, 2006

"Chouinard's memoir is, first and foremost, a very cool story, but it was inspirational to read his reflections on how running a business based on values takes guts, community, and time. And encouraged me not to rush the journey... the dude is 79 years old and is still playing outside, doing awesome work for the world."

The Kon Tiki Expedition: Across the Pacific by Raft by Thor Heyerdahl, 1948

"In 1947, five Norwegian dudes sailed a wooden raft across the Pacific to prove the plausibility that cultures of the South Pacific may be descendants of South America. The academic community said it was impossible, that they were insane, to even try was a death wish... and with the help of SO MANY PEOPLE (private loans by fellow 1920's explorers, South American authorities, the US Army)... they did it. Kon Tiki is Heyerdahl's memoir of that expedition."

  • More Good Reads: 

Self Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841

"Emerson argues the imperative and importance of thinking for one's self, of questioning accepted dogma, and resisting hoard mentality, and living true to the intrinsic truth of the individual. Read it in chunks over the course of several days. It's dense, but each line packs a philosophical punch."

Women Who Did: Stories by Men and Women 1890-1914 by various authors, edited by Angelique Richardson, 2006

"One of my favorite reads of 2017. A collection of stories told by women and men from a time when the limits of what it means to be 'woman' were bursting at the seams. Each author paints their unique gaze of what it was like to be or to witness a modern woman becoming herself at the turn of the 20th century."


Special thanks to our sound designer Kinsey Green, who mixed this episode.



Emily LeComment